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    US, GREAT BRITAIN RESPONSIBLE FOR SECURITY IN IRAQ

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    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Head of the Duma committee for international affairs Konstantin Kosachev has noted that the United States and Great Britain are directly responsible for civilians' security in Iraq.

    "In line with the UN Security Council's Resolution of May 22, 2003, the United States and Great Britain have been acknowledged as occupant countries and are directly responsible for the security of Iraq's civil population in line with the international humanitarian law," said Mr. Kosachev.

    The Russian deputy pointed out that despite the international law, "the situation in Iraq is falling out of control of the occupant authorities and the provisional administration, and extremists who have taken our citizens hostage are acting haphazardly, abducting all people with non-Arab appearances."

    "If the situation does not change, the committee intends to initiate a statement for the Russian authorities and forward it for the Duma consideration on Wednesday," said Mr. Kosachev.

    The deputy pointed out that the main thing now is to "free, as soon as possible, our compatriots taken hostage in Iraq, and this should be the focus of the efforts of all the Russian power branches."

    Last night, unidentified people took hostage nine experts who had arrived in Iraq a week before to work for the Russian-based Interenergoservis company. After a while, one of the hostages was set free.

    The hostages include five Ukrainian citizens.

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