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Homeland Security


India Warns of Militants Plotting New Attacks

By Anjana Pasricha
New Delhi
17 August 2009

India says that militants based in Pakistan are plotting new attacks in the country. Indian authorities are also promising tough action against Maoist insurgents, who they say represent another serious threat to the country's security.

The warning of new terror attacks came from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at a conference on national security held in New Delhi, Monday.

Mr. Singh said cross-border terrorism remains a "most pervasive threat", and called on heads of all Indian states to exercise "utmost vigilance" to avert attacks by Islamic militants based in Pakistan.

The prime minister says the government has implemented several measures to tighten security. But he says states must be prepared to deal with militants who are in possession of "more sophisticated technologies and enhanced capabilities."

"There is credible information of ongoing plans of terrorist groups in Pakistan to carry out fresh attacks," he said. "The areas of operation of these terrorists today extends far beyond the confines of Jammu and Kashmir and covers all parts of our country.

Islamic militants, who have waged a violent separatist campaign in Indian Kashmir since 1989, have been accused of mounting a number of terror strikes targeting Indian cities in recent years. The most deadly assault hit the country's financial capital, Mumbai, last November.

Since the Mumbai attacks, India has been pressuring Islamabad to clamp down on terror groups targeting India.

Pakistan admits the Mumbai attacks were partly plotted on its soil and has arrested five people in connection with the strikes. It says it is committed to the global fight against terror.

The Indian prime minister identified Maoist insurgents as another serious challenge to the country's security. Maoist rebels are active in nearly half the country's 29 states and have killed hundreds of security forces in recent years.

Home Minister P. Chidambaram says the government will take tough measures to evict Maoists, also known as Naxalites, from their bases.

"Our response, therefore, will be police action to wrest control of territory that is now dominated by the Naxalites, restoration of civil administration and undertaking developmental activities, in that order," Chidambaram said.

The Maoist rebels number about 10,000 to 20,000. Indian security analysts have been warning that they are spreading their influence, especially in the poorer and less developed parts of the country in the east.

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