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|Monday, August 27, 2001, updated at 08:39(GMT+8)|
Belarus Holds Largest Army Drill Since IndependenceBelarus on Sunday launched the largest military exercise since its independence a decade ago, said reports from Minsk, capital of the former Soviet republic.
The operation-tactical exercise, code-named "Neman-2001" which involves army units, border guard troops and units of the interior and emergencies ministries, will last till September 3, the Itar- Tass news agency quoted sources in the Belarussian Defense Ministry as saying.
Over 9,000 servicemen are present at the drill, as well as over 1,600 arms and military hardware, including 60 tanks, 190 armored vehicles, 60 missile and artillery systems, 48 aircraft and helicopters and over 130 anti-aircraft defense complexes, said the sources.
An experimental united air force and anti-aircraft defense headquarters, as well as the land force staff, will be deployed for the first time to command the exercise.
New types of weapons and hardware, primarily of Belarussian and Belarussian-Russian makes, will be tested during the exercise.
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