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Security alert after India attack

Security for the Commonwealth Games was tightened after a random terrorist attack wounded two tourists in Delhi.

With the games due to start in less than a fortnight officials tried to reassure athletes and the public that they were safe.

Police increased patrols across the city and put more officers on the streets, especially in areas frequented by tourists.

The tourists, from Taiwan, were hurt when gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Sunday near one of India's biggest mosques, the Jama Masjid, in the heart of the city. Police launched a massive search for the gunmen and issued a security alert across the Indian capital.

Hours later, the BBC's Hindi language service received an email from the Indian Mujahideen, an Islamic militant group, threatening to attack the upcoming Commonwealth Games which will draw vast crowds to watch 7,000 athletes perform.

The group, which has been linked to the banned Pakistan-based Islamist rebel group Lashkar-e-Taiba, was outlawed in June after it was suspected of involvement in an attack on a bakery in western India in which 10 people died.

New Delhi's top elected official, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, appealed for calm, declaring the city was safe to host the October 3-14 games in which 71 teams are to take part.

"Please do not panic. An incident like this is something worrying, but nothing to panic about," he said.

The secretary-general of the games organising committee, Lalit Bhanot, said the shooting would have "no impact" on the event. Indian authorities "have made elaborate arrangements to provide the Commonwealth Games athletes and officials a safe and secure environment," he said.

The two Taiwanese men were stable in hospital after undergoing surgery, The area around the mosque was cordoned off after the attack and police scoured the densely populated alleys around it. Cars and other vehicles were checked at barriers erected on major roads in the city.


From Belfast Telegraph