12/15/2008, 00.00
NEPAL
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Nepal increases security measures after attacks in Mumbai

by Kalpit Parajuli
Checkpoints in the streets of the capital, high alert at the airport, controls around hotels where foreigners are staying. Increased deployment of security forces at the border with India. Nepalese citizens must carry identification documents in order to move around the country.

Kathmandu (AsianNews) - The capital and the major cities of the country are in a state of alert, checkpoints have been set up at regular intervals along the streets of Kathmandu, and more police have been deployed at the airport. After the attacks in Mumbai, Nepal has decided to increase its security measures.

The government headed by Maoist leader Prachanda has ordered people in transit to carry their identification documents at all times. The same obligation is extended to movement toward India, the borders of which remain open. The governments of the two countries have also doubled the number of soldiers posted at the frontier.

According to intelligence sources, Nepal was involved in the attacks in Mumbai, because of the presence of support bases for Pakistani terrorists of the group Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT). The defense minister of Kathmandu, Ram Bahadur Thapa, has discussed anti-terrorism activity with the governments of Beijing and New Delhi. "The attacks in Mumbai are a cause of concern for us as well," the minister said, "so we are proceeding with preventive action. We are helping India, and at the same time India is helping us. We don't want to leave any room for anti-nationalist and terrorist activities in Nepal."

The spokesman for the council of ministers, Modaraj Dottel, explains that the security alert also concerns foreigners, especially the hotels where they are staying in Nepal. He added, "we are more strict with the Islamic states and with the terrorist organizations that originate there."

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