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Friday, July 8, 2011     INTELLIGENCE BRIEFING

Saudi Arabia, in first, deploys female soldiers along border

ABU DHABI — For the first time, the Saudi military has deployed women in the field.


Officials said the Royal Saudi Army has selected 30 women to work in border missions. They said the women soldiers would inspect travelers at the Saudi borders with Bahrain and Qatar.

"This has never been done before," an official said.

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Officials said the women soldiers, all with the rank of private, would work in the passport sections at the King Fahd Causeway with Bahrain. The women would also work in the Salwa border point with Qatar.

The Saudi military has a tiny contingent of women. The soldiers, however, have been been confined to base and do not work with men.

Officials said the Saudi military and police were recruiting women for a range of assignments. They said the female soldiers and police would man border crossings and other checkpoints to inspect female passengers.

The latest assignment was meant to bolster the women's work force at Saudi border points. The Saudi Passport Directorate has employed women civilians to inspect travel documents of women travelers.

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