Russian long-range bombers used in war games in Tajikistan

MOSCOW (AP) " The Russian military says its long-range bombers have practiced hitting targets in Tajikistan during joint drills with the Central Asian nation.

Russia's Defense Ministry said Tu-95 and Tu-22M3 bombers have flown missions to strike a "terrorist camp" in Tajik mountains as part of the four-day war games that ended Thursday.

Tajikistan, an impoverished ex-Soviet nation that borders Afghanistan, hosts a Russian military base and relies on Moscow's economic assistance.

While Russian and Tajik soldiers have conducted joint maneuvers in the past, the drills this week for the first time involved the long-range bombers in an apparent reflection of Moscow's concern about possible spread of instability from Afghanistan.

The Defense Ministry said Russian ground attack jets and helicopter gunships were also involved in the exercise.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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