Putin: divisions among world powers give terrorists the upper hand

Russian President Vladimir Putin called the world powers at the G8 summit to be more cooperative in combating terrorism.

President Putin spoke emotionally about terrorism to his G8 partners, warning that divisions among the world powers were giving terrorists the upper hand, a source in the Russian delegation said.

Putin made a "small, emotional presentation" Thursday in which he said he had told British Prime Minister Tony Blair already a year ago that the anti-terrorism struggle was set back by divisions, including the failure to acknowledge that Chechen rebels were international terrorists.

He said that unlike the divided G8, terrorists constituted "one, well-organized group" able to act against individual countries and their citizens.

"If this continues, terrorism will conquer us all," Putin said, according to the source, speaking late Thursday on condition of anonymity.

Earlier Thursday, Putin had issued a statement of condolence following the terror attacks in London in which he called for an end to what he called double standards on terrorism. Russia has objected vehemently to Britain's granting asylum to a top Chechen rebel representative, Akhmed Zakayev, and the United States' giving refuge to another, Ilyas Akhmatov.

Up to 75 people have been reportedly killed in the attacks in London and about 700 were wounded. Rescuers continue working in the London Tube, where a part of the tunnel collapsed after one of the explosions. Rescuers say that dozens of bodies will most likely be found under the rubble of the tunnel.

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