20:37 GMT03 July 2020
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    New Delhi (Sputnik): Troops from eight nations including India and Pakistan are taking part in a multilateral anti-terror military drill in Russia aimed at countering the threat of international terrorism.

    On Monday, over 100 Indian troops left for Russia to take part in an anti-terror exercise known as TSENTR-2019. It will be the first time that troops from India and Pakistan have attempted to work together since almost coming to blows in February.

    ​The 15-day-long military exercise under the flag of the China-backed Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) is taking place in the Russian city of Orenburg.

    "The exercise aims at evolving drills of the participating armies and practicing them in the fight against the scourge of international terrorism thereby ensuring military security in the strategic Central Asian region," the Indian Army said in a statement.

    Apart from host Russia, military contingents from India, China,  Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Pakistan, and Uzbekistan will also be participating in the event.

    TSENTR 2019 will focus on counter-terror operations, repelling air strikes, reconnaissance operations, and defensive measures. There will also be a second part of the exercise devoted to offensive operations.

    India and Pakistan have faced major border tensions since February this year when the Indian Army carried out an air strike after 40 Indian soldiers were killed in the Pulwama terror attack in the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir on 14 February.

    On 27 February, Pakistan retaliated with dozens of fighter jets targeting Indian military installation in Kashmir. The same day, the Pakistan Air Force shot down one Indian fighter jet and captured the pilot.

    Relations between the two countries dipped to a new level when Pakistan decided to downgrade diplomatic relations with India in protest against the scrapping of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by New Delhi on 5 August.


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