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India blasts prompt increased NYC rail security

New York City has increased its rail security after bombs explode on the India transit system, killing more than 130. A New York Police Department official said the move was only precautionary.
/ Source: The Associated Press

New York City increased its transit security Tuesday with hundreds more officers patrolling the subways and more random bag searches following deadly bombings on the commuter rail network in Bombay, India.

The New York Police Department said the measures were precautionary and there had been no specific threat to New York.

“We take a terror attack in any place in the world, especially one on a public transport system, as a serious warning,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority also announced increased security on its rail lines, tunnels and bridges, and in Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station.

The city began random bag searches a year ago in response to the mass transit bombings in London. NYPD officials have refused to say how many bags police have searched in the past year, or specify where and when they search them. They argue that by making the searches unpredictable they can keep would-be bombers off-balance.

The city’s 468 subway stations serve an average 4.5 million daily riders.

New York state’s two U.S. senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Rodham Clinton, said in Washington that the India bombings showed the urgent need to increase federal protection for this nation’s subways, buses and tunnels, which they called the “soft underbelly” of homeland security.

Seven bombs hit Bombay’s commuter rail line during rush hour Tuesday, killing scores of people and injuring hundreds more in what authorities called a well-coordinated attack.