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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 19:29 GMT 20:29 UK
Russia toughens anti-terror bill
Russian soldiers
Lawmakers say the bill will help protect Russians abroad
The Russian parliament has passed amendments to its counter-terrorism law, allowing the president to use special military units abroad.

Under the new law adopted by the lower house, the Duma, the president will need to notify lawmakers of any such individual operation.

Bu the unit size, location and timing could be kept secret.

The amendments also allow officials to impose tougher restrictions on media coverage of counter-terror operations.

The new bill was unanimously backed by 429 lawmakers, according to Russia's Interfax news agency.

Russian hostage in an internet video
The Russian diplomats were killed after being kidnapped in Baghdad

It gives the president the right to make the decision to use the army and special forces abroad to deal with "terrorist activities" against the Russian Federation or Russian citizens.

The amendments were adopted a week after President Vladimir Putin ordered secret agents to find and destroy the killers of four Russian diplomats in Iraq.

Russia was shocked by the deaths and called on the coalition forces occupying Iraq to provide better security for diplomatic missions working there.

Moscow also offered a $10m (5.4m) reward for information leading to the capture of the attackers.

$10m reward to find Iraq killers
30 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Russia 'to kill Iraq kidnappers'
28 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Russian diplomat deaths confirmed
26 Jun 06 |  Middle East
Timeline: Russia
28 Jun 06 |  Country profiles

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