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Russian Duma Passes Sweeping Anti-Terrorism Bill


Russian lawmakers have passed a sweeping new anti-terrorism bill that would allow the military to attack planes and ships used in terrorist acts, even if hostages are aboard.

The 450-seat lower house of parliament, or Duma, overwhelmingly approved the legislation by a vote of 423-1, Sunday. The bill now goes to the upper house of parliament, where approval is expected, after which it would be signed into law by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The legislation defines terrorism and what constitutes a terrorist act, and outlines procedures for carrying out counter-terrorism operations within and outside Russian territory.

The proposed law also would allow Russian authorities to monitor telephone conversations and control electronic communications for security reasons.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.

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