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India PM pushes tougher anti-terrorism measures after Mumbai attacks

[JURIST] Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [official website] on Sunday convened a meeting of all political parties in order to gather national support for a plan to strengthen security in the country after terrorist attacks in country's financial capital of Mumbai [BBC backgrounder] killed over 180 and injured more than 300. Singh told the gathering that the country would set up a Federal Investigating Agency, strengthen air and maritime security, and use the National Security Act (NSA) [text] to combat terrorism. He also said the National Security Guard (NSG) [Globalsecurity backgrounder], the country's leading anti-terrorism force, would grow in size and be given more facilities, particularly four new hubs throughout the country. The meeting was convened shortly after Home Minister Shivraj Patil, the cabinet member responsible for security affairs, resigned [PTI report] his position, claiming moral responsibility for the attacks. Zeenews has more. The India Times has additional coverage.

The attacks in Mumbai started on Wednesday last week, and were carried out at ten locations across the city including the landmark Taj Mahal Palace hotel [hotel website]. Members of the Mumbai police force believe [AP report] that members of a Pakistani militant group called the Lashkar-e-Taiba [ADL backgrounder] were responsible for the killings. In a statement [press release] to the nation a day after the attacks started, Singh said the country "will take the strongest possible measures to ensure that there is no repetition of such terrorist acts... [and will] take whatever measures are necessary to ensure the safety and security of our citizens." The attack was the worst the city has seen since a group of bombings killed over 250 people in 1993.

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