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    Military jet crashes in China, killing both pilots

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    A Chinese military plane crashed on Sunday during preparations for counter-terrorism exercises with Russia, killing both pilots, a source in Russia's Defense Ministry said.

    MOSCOW, July 19 (RIA Novosti) - A Chinese military plane crashed on Sunday during preparations for counter-terrorism exercises with Russia, killing both pilots, a source in Russia's Defense Ministry said.

    China's official Xinhua news agency reported earlier in the day that a fighter-bomber of the Chinese Air Force had crashed while flying over the Taonan tactical training base in the Jilin province.

    The plane was to be involved in the Peace Mission 2009 exercises, scheduled to begin on July 22.

    "According to our information, the pilots of the plane that crashed at the scene of joint Russian-Chinese exercises have died. This incident will not affect preparations for the drills," the source said.

    About 3,000 troops, 300 armored vehicles, and over 40 aircraft and helicopters will be involved in the Russian-Chinese anti-terrorism exercises, which will take place in the two countries on July 22-26.

    The first stage of the exercises - military and political consultations - will be held in Khabarovsk in Russia's Far East, and the second and third phases will take place at the Taonan proving ground outside Baichen in northeast China.

    The first Peace Mission exercises were held in Russia and the eastern Chinese province of Shandong in August 2005, involving warships, aircraft and over 10,000 service personnel including naval infantry and paratroopers.

     

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