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Russia and Pakistan to conduct joint military drill

Russia and Pakistan to conduct joint military drillPakistan and Russia are due to hold their first ever military exercise this month, Pakistan's military said on Friday.

Pakistan spent a decade helping the United States funnel arms and fighters into neighboring Afghanistan to help insurgent groups fight Soviet soldiers following their 1979 invasion of Afghanistan.

During the Cold War two countries were rivals as the communist Soviet Union was closely aligned with Pakistan's arch-enemy India. Also the United States was a staunch supporter of Pakistan.

Pakistan's top military spokesman, Lieutenant General Asim Bajwa, said a "contingent of Russian ground forces" arrived in Pakistan for a two-week exercise beginning on Saturday.

About 200 military personnel from both sides would be involved in the exercises, Pakistan's Tribune Express newspaper said, citing military sources.

Pakistani media last year reported Islamabad had bought four Mi-35 attack helicopters from Russia in a first military deal of its kind between them.
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