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Putin Seeks Authorization for Russian Anti-Terrorist Operations Abroad

Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked the upper house of the country's parliament, the Federation Council, to authorize the use of soldiers or security agents in anti-terrorist operations abroad.

The Russian leader last week ordered his country's special forces to hunt down and destroy those responsible for the killing of four employees of Russia's embassy in Baghdad. They were killed several days after insurgents took them hostage.

A presidential statement said the request came under legislation that authorizes the use of troops abroad when required to defend the human rights of Russian citizens and the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. Russian law requires approval of the upper house before a dispatch of forces abroad.

Mr. Putin appoints the members of the Federation Council and the group usually does his bidding.

It remains unclear what units will be involved in the operations. But last week the head of Russia's Federal Security Service, the successor of the KGB, said his organization will do everything it can to find the killers.

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