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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.

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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SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR