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World's first tank biathlon begins
Wednesday August 14, 2013 6:42 PM, IANS

The world's first ever tank biathlon competition kicked off Wednesday in Moscow, the Russian defence ministry said.

The competitions are being held at the Alabino firing range, northwest of the capital, Xinhua reported.

The four-day military sporting event features the T-72B tank crews from four Russian military districts. They will compete on an 18.3-km track during the first two stages of the competition.

The crews must cross obstacle belts while firing the cannons and 12.7 mm machine guns. The targets have been placed at a distance, ranging from 900 to 2,200 metres.

Every miss would be penalised by an extra 500-metre lap.

On the final day of the competition, to be held Saturday, the best crews from the Russian armoured troops will face competitors from Armenia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on a 9.9-km track.

These countries, along with Russia, are part of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation.

The defence ministry said the aim of the competition is "to increase prestige of the military service in Russia" and "to propagate the advanced methods of the troops training".

The event is also being held to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Battle at Prokhorovka, the largest tank battle in history that happened during World War II between Soviet and German panzer troops.

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