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Russia Cancels Security Alert

Nikolai Patrushev (file photo) (ITAR-TASS) January 19, 2007 -- Russia today cancelled a nationwide security alert ordered earlier this week following a warning of a possible attack.

The National Antiterrorism Committee said Federal Security Service (FSB) Director Nikolai Patrushev today ordered police and security forces to return to normal duties.

Patrushev, who heads the committee, ordered the heightened security measures on January 16, saying the alert was based on information from unspecified "foreign sources."

Two days later, officials said no evidence had been found to back up the warning.

The warning was the first national alert to be made public since President Vladimir Putin created the Antiterrorism Committee last year.

Some Russian media reports said the alert was more of a nationwide security exercise, while others suggested it may have been aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear in society for political ends.

(compiled from agency reports)

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