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Army may send soldiers abroad for training

Soldiers in Switzerland's militia army may be obliged to do three-week refresher courses abroad if government plans announced on Friday are approved by parliament.

This content was published on March 7, 2008 - 17:46

The defence ministry said if the objectives of army courses in Switzerland cannot be met, they could exceptionally take place outside the country.

The government initially wanted to introduce six-week courses abroad but was forced to water down its plans after opposition during the consultation procedure with all interested parties.

In a related development, the government seeks to introduce measures that would prevent misuse of army weapons.

There has been a heated debate in Switzerland over the country's gun laws, in particular because army issue weapons are involved in the death of more than 300 people a year.

The new law would also lay down how to deal with personal data collected by military surveillance, for example by drones equipped with cameras.

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