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Turkmenistan Holds First-Ever Military Maneuvers In Caspian

Turkmen security forces take part in an antiterrorist naval exercise on the Caspian Sea coast on September 5.
Turkmenistan has held its first naval drills on the Caspian Sea amid a dispute with Azerbaijan over ownership of a section of the sea believed to hold lucrative energy reserves.

In June, the two sides accused each other of provocations and vowed to defend their rights over a section of an undersea oil field called Kapaz by Baku and Serdar by Ashgabat.

Experts have estimated that the region could be holding upward of 50 million tons of oil.

Tensions over how the inland Caspian Sea should be divided among the five surrounding states, which also include Russia, Iran, and Kazakhstan, began after the 1991 Soviet collapse.

The naval drills held on September 5 near Turkmenistan's western seaport of Turkmenbashi involved an exercise in repelling a naval attack on ships and oil refineries.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP