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Russians Moving Military Equipment

October 1, 2001

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan (AP) _ Russian military equipment, some of which apparently is headed for the Afghan opposition, has been arriving in the Tajik capital Dushanbe on a regular basis since President Vladimir Putin announced last week that his country would increase support for the anti-Taliban alliance.

Russia has been supplying the Afghan opposition for the past several years and also has 25,000 troops of its own stationed in Tajikistan to help guard the border with Afghanistan. However, the latest deliveries at Dushanbe’s airport appeared greater than usual.

On Monday, packed cargo was unloaded from a Russian Ilyushin-76 cargo plane onto Russian military trucks. It was not clear what was in the boxes.

Over the past several days, Russian Su-25 jets have flown in and out of Dushanbe, as have other cargo planes.

Russia has expressed support for the U.S.-led coalition against terrorism that Washington has been assembling since the Sept. 11 attacks in Washington and New York that have been blamed on Osama bin Laden, a Saudi who is being sheltered by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

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