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Austria: Drones To Be Used For Surveillance At Home And Abroad

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VIENNA -- Austria's defense minister says his country plans to buy surveillance drones for use at home and abroad.

Defense Minister Norbert Darabos says the drones could be used to help protect troops on foreign soil through surveillance as well as in case of natural catastrophes such as avalanches. He also says the unmanned aircraft may also be used to watch borders crossed by illegal immigrants but only if they do not violate "the private space" of individuals.

Darabos says the drones will not be armed. He spoke to reporters Monday in Eisenstadt, east of Vienna.

The defense minister says his ministry plans to invest around 2 million euros – about $2.5 million – in purchasing the drones. He did not say where they would be manufactured.

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