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Russia's Putin gives ex-spy chief anti-terror post

MOSCOW, Oct 12 (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin has named a senior former intelligence officer as a deputy foreign minister overseeing international cooperation in the fight against terrorism, agencies reported on Friday.

Anatoli Safonov, in 1994-97 first deputy director of the FSB domestic security service once run by Putin, will become one of around a dozen deputies to Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov.

The newly-created post is part of Moscow's beefed up campaign to fight what it calls the greatest "evil of the 21st century."

Since coming to power two years ago Putin has named a number of intelligence and security officials to senior posts in his administration, notably Defence Minister Sergei Ivanov.

Ivanov has been Putin's pointman on coordinating Russia's contribution to the global fight against terrorism, launched by the United States in the wake of the September 11 hijacked airliner attacks on New York and Washington.

It was not immediately clear how Safonov's new job would dovetail with Ivanov's responsibilities.

Russia has given strong backing to U.S.-led strikes against Afghanistan, where the ruling Taliban has refused to hand over Osama bin Laden, seen by Washington as the mastermind of the U.S. attacks that left 5,600 people dead or missing.

Moscow is arming the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance but has steered clear of a direct military role in the conflict.

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