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Choppers to counter terrorism

Choppers to counter terrorism

Chinese helicopters set to be bought by Cambodia are to be used for both disaster management and fighting terrorism, a high-ranking official said yesterday.

The Kingdom agreed to acquire Chinese-made Z-9 helicopters for US$195 million in one of 26 memorandums of understanding agreed to by the two countries on Saturday. The agreements came as a delegation of Chinese officials visited the Kingdom, led by Politburo Standing Committee member Zhou Yongkang.

Minister of Economy and Finance, Keat Chhon, said at a ceremony in Phnom Penh yesterday that the craft were “necessary”.

“Those helicopters will be used to manage disaster and to fight against terrorism,” Keat Chhon said. He did not comment on the number of helicopters that would be acquired or when they would arrive in the Kingdom.

Defence Ministry spokesman Chhum Socheat said yesterday that he was aware of the government’s plan to purchase the helicopters but had no detailed information so far.

“We don’t have enough helicopters and the existing ones were old, therefore we need to buy more,” he said.

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