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    RUSSIAN DIPLOMAT HIGHLIGHTS MIDEAST, AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AS TERROR HOTBEDS

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    MOSCOW, JANUARY 16, RIA NOVOSTI - Persisting Mideastern, Afghan and Iraqi tensions threaten further terror escalation, Anatoli Safonov, Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of the international anti-terror cause, warned in a Novosti interview.

    The Al-Qaida has evidently shifted its activities to other areas, with a focus on Southeast Asia, Northeast Africa and Latin America. Tensions, however, are never subsiding in three hotbeds of regional tensions. These are the Middle East, Afghanistan and Iraq-each pregnant with the danger of further escalating terrorism and extremism, and promotion of Muslim radicalism.

    There is another threat, of the latest technologies falling into terrorist hands. Terror techniques are getting ever more sophisticated. Presenting the greatest danger is terrorist progress toward a threshold behind which is the possession of mass destruction weaponry. Attempts to leap the barrier went on last year. Terrorists have a chance to take hold of dangerous materials-radioactive, poisonous and bacterial-and certain kinds of conventional arms, said the deputy foreign minister.

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