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Iraq signs preliminary deal for Czech planes

Monday - 4/7/2014, 12:30pm  ET

PRAGUE (AP) -- Iraq has signed a preliminary agreement to buy 12 Czech-made light combat planes as it works to restore combat capability decimated in the U.S.-led invasion.

Martin Danko, the broker for the deal, refused to reveal the price Monday. The package must still be approved by the governments of both countries.

Iraq had initially agreed to buy 28 of the Czech-made L-159 combat and training planes in a deal worth $1 billion in 2012. It was not immediately clear why the parameters of the arrangement had changed, nor why the original deal fell apart.

Defense Ministry spokesman Jan Pejsek says the ministry will assess the deal in a week.

Czech defense officials have been trying to sell the subsonic military planes for years because the military has no use for them.

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