Chinese troops board trains for joint military exercise with Russia

IRKUTSK, Russia, July 29 (UPI) — Hundreds of Chinese soldiers, along with equipment and tanks, were traveling Monday to eastern Russia for joint anti-terrorism exercises, officials say.

Some 500 service members and more than 100 units of military hardware were to leave Irkutsk on three trains, ITAR-Tass reported.

The troops should arrive at the Chebarkul firing range in the Chelyabinsk region by Thursday or Friday, the press service of the Russian Central Military District said.

An operational group of Chinese soldiers arrived at the exercise site Monday.

More than 1,500 troops from both China and Russia are expected to participate in the “Peace Mission-2013” exercises, whose main purpose is the “anti-terrorism struggle,” the press service said.

The military exercises began Saturday and are scheduled to continue until Aug. 15.

Russia has conducted the war games since 2005, but this is the first time Chinese soldiers have been involved.

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