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Manmohan talks tough

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh says there is no lack of firmness of purpose in dealing with terrorism, reports Aloke Tikku.
Hindustan Times | By Aloke Tikku, New Delhi
UPDATED ON OCT 13, 2007 03:46 AM IST

As central intelligence agencies got down to the task of identifying terrorists involved in blast at the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti in Ajmer, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said there was no lack of firmness of purpose in dealing with terrorism.

Singh acknowledged the country had a difficult situation at hand and it was time to think differently about the strategy on dealing with terrorism in future.

“But let there be no mistake about our resolve to meet this challenge head on,” he declared at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit here on Friday.

Terrorists, he added, had the benefit of surprise on their side as they could choose targets and it was not possible to prevent all attacks on soft targets like religious places. Two people were killed and several injured in Thursday’s blast at the shrine of the Sufi saint.

Security officers scanning the shrine for clues had subsequently found a bag in which another crude bomb had been kept. The unexploded device was to be detonated using a mobile phone. It, however, did not work, saving many lives. Pieces of iron pipe were used by militants as splinters that pierced through the pilgrims who had gathered near the “Begum-Ki-Dhalan” for breaking their Ramzan fast.

The shrine had been on the potential target list drawn up by the central government which had accordingly passed on this assessment to the state government.

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