Russia, Central Asian allies hold drills near Afghanistan

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MOSCOW (AP) — The troops from Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan have wrapped up military drills intended to simulate a joint response to potential security threats coming from Afghanistan. The war games that began last week and ended Tuesday involved 2,500 Russian, Tajik and Uzbek troops and about 500 military vehicles. The drills, held at a firing range 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of the Tajik border with Afghanistan, saw the troops practice action against invading militants. Russia, which has a military base in Tajikistan, has pledged to offer military assistance to its ally and other ex-Soviet Central Asian nations if they face incursions of militants from Afghanistan.

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