Indian Military to Allow Women in Combat Roles; Final Phase of Operation Zarb-e-Azb Begins in North Waziristan; Afghanistan Receives 10,000 AK-47s from Russia

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In an address to India’s parliament on Thursday, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee announced that all three branches of the Indian military will open combat roles for women (Time/Reuters, Guardian). Women were allowed to join the military in India in 1992 but still only make up 2.5 percent of Indian Army personnel, mostly in medical or administrative roles. The army has largely resisted a move to induct women into combat roles, expressing concerns over their ability to handle the high physical strain and vulnerability in case of capture. However, in October, the government approved a proposal by the air force to train female fighter pilots by mid-2017.