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    Russia, Kazakhstan to begin second phase of Caspian anti-terror exercise

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    AKTAU, August 18 (RIA Novosti) - Russia and Kazakhstan, the heavyweights of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), are beginning the second phase of joint anti-terrorist exercises in the Caspian region Thursday, CIS counter-terrorism officials reported.

    According to the program, coordinated by the CIS Counter-Terrorism Center, a group of "terrorists" will seize an administrative building at an international seaport and an oil tanker with its crew. Their demands will include the termination of negotiations on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

    Units of Kazakhstan's National Security Committee and Russia's Federal Security Service will conduct a counterattack, and the Kazakh Emergencies Ministry will join in at a later stage to deal with the aftermath of the simulated terrorist attack.

    Senior anti-terrorist officials from CIS member states and Iran will observe the exercise.

    A previous CIS counter-terrorism exercise was held in June 2004 in Moldova. Moldovan personnel took part alongside their counterparts from Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus.

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