Russia holds air combat maneuvers in North Caucasus

MOSCOW - Russia began large-scale air force training maneuvers in the North Caucasus on Monday in a step towards boosting security against an Islamic insurgency raging in the region, a newspaper reported.
The exercise is the largest of its kind in the predominantly Muslim region of Kabardino-Balkaria in 15 years and will involve fighter jets and combat helicopters, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily quoted air force spokesman Vladimir Drik as saying.
The maneuvers are aimed at strengthening military capabilities in a region where Moscow has promised to beef up security to protect the 2014 Winter Olympics from threatened Islamist rebel attacks.
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