PM : terrorists from outside the country

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New Delhi, Nov 27 (UNI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today warned the perpetrators of terror attacks in Mumbai, who were based outside the country, of strong action, while an all-out offensive was going on to apprehend and liquidate the terrorists and ensure the safety of hostages, as the toll in the attacks has increased to 125.

Among those killed in these terror attacks, were six foreigners and 14 policemen and one Home Guard. About 327 people have been injured, including seven foreigners, 26 policemen and 294 civilians, Home Ministry sources said here, based on the information received from Mumbai police control room.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh addressed the nation, saying that it was evident that the group which carried out the killings, was based outside the country. He said the government would take up with the neighbouring countries the use of their territories by the terrorists to launch their attacks. He said the entry of suspects would be restricted.

The Prime Minister assured that the government would resort to tough measures to take on the terrorists, which included the setting up of a federal investigating agency, bringing police reforms and the use of the National Security Act(NSA). He warned the perpetrators and suspects that they would have to pay a heavy price, irrespective of their religion.

He said the well-planned and well-orchestrated attacks, probably with external linkages, were intended to create a sense of panic, by choosing high-profile targets and indiscriminately killing of foreigners. Stressing the need for setting up a federal agency, to go into the crimes, Dr Singh assured that the Government would attend to police reforms urgently.

The Prime Minister also chaired a meeting of the Union Cabinet today, which was briefed by Home Minister Shivraj Patil and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan. It was decided to constitute a Committee to oversee the security requirements of states. The Prime Minister, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Leader of Opposition L K Advani have gone to Mumbai. The Home Minister and NSG Director J K Dutt visited Mumbai last night.

Earlier, the Centre had sent 200 NSG commandos, five columns of Army. Mumbai Police was asked to take the help of Navy Commandos and Rapid Action Force, present in Mumbai, were also made available to them.

All these forces have jointly launched an all-out offensive against the terrorists, aimed at apprehending and liquidating them.

The government has also beefed up security at all the places, especially at the hotels.

Efforts were being made to flush out terrorists, who had struck at 2120 hrs, last night, by attacking with automatic weapons and hand grenades. They were still holding many people as hostages.

Regarding the lack of intelligence inputs in this attack, the Home Minister said some intelligence inputs were there but it was not concrete in terms of place, time and what route terrorists would take, whether they would come by land, sea or air.

Mr Patil said however, he would not like to create any controversy on the issue.

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