India, Bangla joint military exercise 'Operation Sampriti' begins in Sylhet

Indian and Bangladeshi forces have launched a joint exercise in the northeastern Sylhet as part of efforts to deepen military ties and cooperation in counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations.

The 14-day exercise that will continue till October 22 is the second phase of 'Op Sampriti'.

An Indian Air Force plane carrying 25-members of army team, led by Major S Y Mahadik, reached Osmani International Airport in Sylhet from Jorhat, a defence ministry statement said.

"This is the second phase of 'Op Sampriti' which is aimed to develop professional expertise of both the armies and strengthen military to military relationship," an army spokesman said.

The first phase of 'Op Sampriti' was held at Jorhat in Assam from November 1-4 last year.

Indian army sources earlier said the two sides would "practice counter-terrorism and counter-insurgency operations under the UN mandate".

India is fielding around 40 troops of its elite 21 Para (Special Forces) battalion for the exercise whereas the Bangladesh Army has deployed one of its Para Commando battalions.

Indian officials in New Delhi said the two sides are aiming to further enhance their mutual understanding through increased military-to-military contacts.

Military relations between the two sides received a boost when Indian Army Chief General V K Singh visited Dhaka last year and gifted howitzers and modern computers to the Bangladesh Army.

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