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India to Host Antiterror Military Drills in September

India will host the first antiterror military exercises in the member countries of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) in September.

The BIMSTEC, which was created in 1997, is made up of India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

As part of the event, a meeting of army chiefs from all seven member states is planned. The exercise is scheduled to take place in Pune, a city in the west of the central Indian state of Maharashtra, according to The Hindu newspaper.

'The objective of the exercise is to promote strategic alignment among the member countries and to share best practices in the fight against terrorism,' a defense source said.

The meeting of the army chiefs is scheduled on the last two days of the military drills to discuss the challenge of terrorism and transnational crime, the source added. The BIMSTEC countries carried out a disaster management exercise in 2017, but this is the group's first military maneuver.

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