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Sunday, August 19, 2007 : 1035 Hrs

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    India, UK forces to conduct anti-terror war game in Ladakh

    New Delhi, Aug. 19 (PTI): In a reflection of their growing cooperation in the war against terror, British and Indian Special Forces will carry out mountain warfare manoeuvres in Ladakh near the Chinese border next month.

    A batch of Royal Marines and Indian para-commandos will take part in the 10-day rigorous joint exercise in Himalayan terrain that has an uncanny resemblance to the rugged Afghan highlands.

    The exercise, which will commence in mid-September, will be only the second such joint manoeuvres held in the frontier region. Indian and US Special Forces held mountain warfare exercises in the same region last year, raising eyebrows in Beijing.

    Most of the 60-strong British Marine force taking part in the exercise have been drawn from contingents that have had an operational stint in Afghanistan.

    Defence ministry sources said the exercise would also bring into play transport aircraft from the Indian and Royal Air Force for aerial and heliborne operations.

    British troops are not the only forces with which the Indian Army would have joint exercise in the coming months. Beginning next month, the Army will be engaged in a string of war games with several countries.

    Indian armed forces' forte in combating terrorism has apparently attracted a number of nations. Major powers like the US, Britain, Russia and China as well as smaller countries like Seychelles and Thailand have evinced interest in carrying out counter-insurgency exercises with India.

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