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Russian Duma Passes Sweeping Antiterrorism Bill --> Russia's State Duma in session (file photo) (AFP) 26 February 2006 -- Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, has overwhelmingly approved a bill setting out a range of procedures for counterterrorist operations.

The text defines procedures for shooting down civilian airplanes seized by terrorists, interception of e-mail and telephone communications, and operations outside Russian territory.

The legislation omitted a controversial section in earlier drafts that would have restricted media reporting during counterterrorism operations.

The document now goes to the upper chamber, the Federation Council, and then to President Vladimir Putin for approval.

The bill was drafted following a series of terrorist attacks in Russia in 2004.

Beslan Anniversary Special

A special webpage devoted to the first anniversary of the tragedy at Beslan.