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    FSB, RUSSIAN EMBASSY IN FRANCE DENY REPORTS ABOUT EXPLOSIVES

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    MOSCOW/PARIS, March 17, 2004 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's FSB has bluntly refuted reports about explosives that have allegedly been brought into the Russian embassy in Paris.

    "This is complete absurdity and spring insanity," said chief of the FSB's PR centre Colonel Sergei Ignatchenko.

    Press Attache of the Russian embassy in France Sergei Parinov has in turn said that Russian press allegations to the effect do not correspond to reality.

    Some Russian media outlets, Internet editions above all, have circulated information about Russia's FSB planning to carry out large-scale terrorist attacks in France, with reference to the Chechen terrorists' website. To this end, about 200 kg of explosives have already been brought into France and are being stored in the Russian embassy.

    "Advertising of the international terrorists' site circulating all sorts of false information is nothing but an attempt to clash Western Europe and Russia, and inflict damage on the international anti-terrorist coalition," said Colonel Ignatchenko.

    The embassy's press attache described these "allegations" as "complete absurdity." In his words, such unverified reports spread on the Internet "can in no way be taken seriously." Reports about the terrorist attacks masterminded by the FSB came one day after editorial staff of some Paris newspapers received letters from the earlier unknown group called Allah's Servants. Authors of the messages signed as "Mosvar Barayev's detachment" threaten "to plunge France into an abyss of terror," if the French authorities do not cancel the recently adopted law which banned wearing religious clothes and symbols, including Moslem headscarves - hijabs - at schools.

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