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UPDATED: 08:58, September 12, 2006
Russia to send engineering troops to Lebanon
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Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov said on Monday that his country was to send an engineering battalion to Lebanon by the end of this month to help rebuild the war-ravaged country.

"A group of specialists, military engineers and bomb disposal experts will leave for Lebanon later this week. The engineering battalion will be ready to leave for Lebanon by sea at the end of the month on board civilian ships," Ivanov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying.

Because there were many unexploded bombs and artillery shells, the reconnoitering team would study the routes to the sites of their tasks, he said, but Russia would not take part in peacekeeping operations in Lebanon.

"According to early estimates, the engineering battalion will most probably be working outside the zone of the peacekeeping operation in Lebanon at the request of the Lebanese government," Ivanov said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Sergei Sobyanint, presidential chief of staff, to prepare the necessary documents for the deployment, which will have to be approved by the upper house of parliament.

Source: Xinhua

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