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New tanks and APCs arrive

A SHIPMENT of 100 tanks and armoured personnel carriers purchased from Ukraine have arrived at the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, officials said today.
In Sokhemara, chief of the Preah Sihanouk provincial coast guard office said that according to a report that arrived with the shipment, the government purchased the batch of 100 new tanks and armoured personnel carriers from Ukraine, formerly part of the Soviet Union.
“It will take about a week or so to remove all the tanks and armoured personnel carriers from the port,” he said.
Last week, officials refused to divulge any details about the shipment, including the country that provided the vehicles and how many were purchased.
Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat, who joined officials in receiving the shipment at the port, could not be reached for comment. Military officials who were responsible for unloading the shipment declined to comment.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong also could not be reached for comment.
He said last Tuesday that the government had recently purchased a second shipment of vehicles, which was expected to arrive “at a later date”.
“I think this is a normal procedure for a country to buy such weaponry to protect its territory from any intentional encroachment from foreign countries,” he said at the time.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Tea Banh returned to Phnom Penh last night after a week in China, where he observed the production of weapons at specialised factories, said Nem Sowath, the minister’s chief of cabinet.

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