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Joint SCO military drill concludes in Tajikistan

(Xinhua)

08:21, June 15, 2012

KHUZHAND, Tajikistan, June 14 (Xinhua) -- The ninth counter-terrorism joint military exercise conducted by Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) members concluded here Thursday.

The exercise, code-named "Peace Mission 2012," involved about 2,000 military personnel from China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan, and was the first of its kind held in Tajikistan.

Participating troops topped off the drill with a series of military maneuvers, including air and ground strikes, encirclement and suppression as well as pursuit and vertical interception.

The performance was highly appreciated by the SCO observation mission, which included Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Deputy Chief of the General Staff Ma Xiaotian of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and senior defense officials from other participating countries.

The observers said the troops demonstrated superb military and counter-terrorism capabilities in the successful drill, which would play a significant role in deterring and crushing the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism.

The exercise, which started Saturday, would also help deepen defense and security cooperation within the SCO and promote the member countries' ability to jointly confront new threats and challenges, they said.

They also noted that the drill further improved the training and coordination of the armed forces of the SCO members, making them better prepared to maintain regional peace and stability.

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