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Venezuelan President Chavez says country is producing drones and assembling rifles

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government has begun to assemble Kalashnikov assault rifles with assistance from Russia and has also started making surveillance drones.

Chavez says Venezuela has produced three drones so far. One of the small planes was shown on television atop a truck.

Chavez also said during a televised speech on Wednesday that Venezuela has so far assembled 3,000 Kalashnikov AK 103 rifles. He said that Venezuela has also started making grenades and ammunition for its military.

Chavez says Venezuela is strengthening its military with help from allies including China, Russia and Iran.