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Russia to Bar US News Network Over Interview with Chechen Rebel Leader

The Russian foreign ministry says it will not renew the credentials of the American television network ABC after it aired an interview with a wanted Chechen rebel leader.

The ministry Tuesday said Russian state agencies will now consider the network unwelcome after last week's broadcast featuring Shamil Basayev, who has taken responsibility for numerous terrorist attacks in Russia.

The ministry said the broadcast supported the propaganda of terrorism and made direct threats against Russian citizens. Moscow protested the interview to U.S. officials.

A U.S. State Department official said Washington considers Mr. Basayev a terrorist - but ABC had the constitutional right to broadcast the piece.

Mr. Basayev has taken responsibility for last year's school seizure in the town of Beslan which killed more than 330 people. In the interview, he said he was planning more attacks.

Russian forces and separatists in Chechnya have been at war for most of the past decade.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.