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    Abkhazia holds tactical drills with live firing

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    Abkhazia is conducting a planned battalion-level tactical exercise with live firing, a deputy defense minister of Georgia's separatist republic said on Tuesday.

    SUKHUMI, November 11 (RIA Novosti) - Abkhazia is conducting a planned battalion-level tactical exercise with live firing, a deputy defense minister of Georgia's separatist republic said on Tuesday.

    "In line with the military training program for 2008, the Defense Ministry is holding on November 10-12 a battalion-level tactical exercise with live firing, which involves the 2nd independent naval infantry battalion and the 2nd independent motor rifle battalion at the Nagvalou testing grounds," Anatoly Zaitsev said.

    The exercise also involves various air units, he added.

    The Abkhaz military is primarily a ground force but includes small sea and air units. In 2007, an Abkhaz source gave the inventory for the Abkhazian Air Force as 1 MiG-21, 1 Su-25, 2 L-39 combat trainers, 1 Yak-52 combat trainer, and 2 Mi-8 multipurpose helicopters.

    Abkhazia broke away from Georgia following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s amid an armed conflict that claimed thousands of lives.

    Russia recognized Abkhazia, along with Georgia's other separatist republic of South Ossetia, as independent states in late August following a 5-day war with Georgia over S. Ossetia.

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