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Trucks sent for chemical weapons

RUSSIA has sent 25 armoured trucks and 50 other vehicles to Syria to help transport toxins that are to be destroyed under an international agreement to rid the nation of its chemical arsenal.

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russian aircraft had delivered 50 Kamaz trucks and 25 Ural armoured trucks to the Syrian port city of Latakia last week, along with other equipment.

Syria has agreed to abandon its chemical weapons under a deal proposed by Russia to avert potential military action by the US following a deadly sarin gas attack in August which America blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Damascus agreed to transport the "most critical" chemicals, including around 20 tons of mustard nerve agent, out of Latakia by the end of the year to be safely destroyed abroad.

Western powers had baulked at Syria's request for military transport equipment to move chemical weapons material to Latakia because of concerns that it could be used to fight Assad's opponents in the conflict or kill civilians.

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