Russia to train combat engineers for Afghan army

Russia to train combat engineers for Afghan army

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Russian military will train combat engineers for the Afghan army to ensure safe and efficient mine sweeping in the war-torn Central Asian country, Russia’s defense minister said Wednesday, Dec 18, according to RIA Novosti.

“We are working on the creation of a training center to prepare sappers for mine sweeping in Afghanistan,” Sergei Shoigu said at a meeting with university students in Moscow.

Shoigu said that the training would be carried out through interpreters speaking dialects commonly used in Afghanistan.

The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has been fighting the radical Islamist Taliban movement in Afghanistan since 2001, is expected to withdraw from the war-torn country by the end of 2014, handing over responsibility for security in Afghanistan to local police and military forces.

In May, Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU, said it expected the influence of the radical Islamist Taliban to grow in Afghanistan after international coalition forces leave.

Russia has contributed to the fight against the Taliban in the past by supplying the Afghan military and security forces with Kalashnikov assault rifles and Mi-17 military transport helicopters, assisting Afghanistan in counter-narcotics and border security and providing improved transit and supply routes for NATO forces operating in the country.

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