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Soviets Tighten Border With Turkey

November 08, 1987|From Reuters

KARS, Turkey — The Soviet Union has boosted measures along its rugged 400-mile border with eastern Turkey to prevent defections by troops and civilians, Turkish military sources said Saturday.

They said the Soviets recently started installing anti-personnel radar in more accessible areas of the frontier to supplement lookout posts and mines triggered by tripwires.

The sources said two or three Soviet soldiers manage to defect each year, as well as some civilians, most of whom want to go to the United States, Turkey's North Atlantic Treaty Organization ally.

"We don't give defectors back," one source said, adding that military personnel are handed over to Turkey's paramilitary gendarmerie and civilians to the police.

The sources said the Soviet civilian population is usually forbidden to come within six miles of the border.

Military vehicles and equipment are also rarely seen along the whole length of the border, where the Soviets keep 19 or 20 divisions of up to 11,000 men each.

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