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India to hold bilateral exercises with US, Russia, China

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NEW DELHI (PTI): India is readying to match its counter insurgency and anti-terrorism operational prowess with that of the US and Russian Army in two bilateral exercises scheduled for August and October this year.

Army officers said here on Tuesday that they would host the American special forces in India next month when the special forces of the two countries would practice operations against a simulated insurgency and terrorism scenarios.

The exercise – in the ‘Vajra Prahar’ series – is usually held in India at the Army's Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram.

The annual Indo-US exercise in the 'Vajra Prahar' series is part of three bilateral army exercises, the other two being the 'Shatrujeet' and the 'Yudh Abhyas'.

The US' mechanised forces had visited India in late 2009 for the 'Yudh Abhyas' exercise with their 'Stryker' armoured personnel carriers and about 1,000 men, while 'Yudh Abhyas 2009' was held at Babina in central India.

The Indo-Russian exercise, ‘Indra-2010’, would be held in October this year which would focus on the same theme of counter insurgency and anti-terrorism operations, with the likely involvement of airborne troops.

'Indra-2010' would be held at a military base near Ranikhet in Uttarakhand, officers said.

Meanwhile, India is also preparing to send its troops to China in next year for their annual bilateral army exercise 'Hand-in-Hand' which could not take place last year due to China's pre-occupation with its 50th year celebrations.

The two countries had already informed that they would not be holding the exercise in 2010, but would work towards having it in China next year.

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