India steps up terror alert

India has increased its security after Israel and Australia issued warnings to their citizens to avoid visiting its cities.

The warnings were issued based on intelligence reports of possible terror attacks in India, particularly in the country’s financial capital Mumbai.

“We are increasing our level of preparedness to meet any terror threat or terror attack,” Palaniappan Chidambaram, the Indian home minister told reporters in New Delhi.

However, the minister refuted claims of an alarming situation. “Don’t present an alarmist picture. We are fully aware of the threats from across the border,” Mr Chidambaram said.

Australia’s premier of the state of Victoria, John Brumby, this week cancelled a trip to Mumbai and will now only visit New Delhi and Bangalore.

India is a popular tourist destination among Israeli holidaymakers. An Israeli Jewish centre was the target of terrorists in last year’s attacks in Mumbai, which left more than 170 people dead and around 700 injured.

India has also stepped up security at its borders with Pakistan citing increasing infiltration by Pakistan-based terror organisations.

Security is also a concern as the country prepares to host the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi next year.

Earlier this year England withdrew from the World Badminton Championships in Hyderabad due to alleged terror threats.

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