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Russia arrests two agents working for UK -report

By Staff
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MOSCOW, Feb 21 (Reuters) Russia has arrested two spies for Britain who were trying to steal military secrets, the head of the FSB state security service was quoted as saying today.

It was not clear whether the two were connected to the ''fake rock'' affair, which saw Russia last month accuse British diplomats of running a James Bond style spying operation.

FSB gave no details on when they were arrested or what nationality they were.

''The FSB has reliable documented evidence of active attempts by British intelligence to learn Russian military secrets,'' Nikolai Patrushev, a close ally of ex-spy President Vladimir Putin, told Interfax news agency in an interview.

''The arrest of two special agents exposed by military counter-intelligence proves this,'' he added.

Patrushev's remarks appeared to confirm a claim by former FSB head Nikolai Kovalyov, in an interview with Russian television last month, that two spies working for Britain were under arrest and were talking. Kovalyov gave no details.

Patrushev added that the FSB, the main successor of the Soviet-era KGB, knew about other British intelligence activities but said it was too early to say more.

REUTERS SRS MAJ RAI0003

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