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India admits security lapses in Mumbai attacks

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Raju Gopalakrishnan
Friday, Dec 05, 2008

India’s new home minister admitted on Friday there had been security lapses surrounding last week’s Mumbai attacks, which New Delhi has blamed on militants from neighbouring Pakistan.

The ruling Congress party-led coalition has been under fire over what the opposition says is its weakness on security, after a series of bomb blasts this year in cities was capped by the three-day rampage by 10 Islamist gunmen in India’s financial capital.

“I would be less than truthful if I said there were no lapses,” Home Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram told reporters in Mumbai. “These are being looked into. We will address the causes that led to the lapses.”

Chidambaram took over the post on Sunday after predecessor Shivraj Patil quit. Elections are due by May and analysts say Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh must demonstrate decisive action to counter criticism over security.

Underscoring the collective jitters after the attacks, gunshot-like sounds heard at New Delhi’s international airport early on Friday sparked a security scare. Police said no one was hurt.

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This article was posted: Friday, December 5, 2008 at 5:13 am

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