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UPDATED: 09:44, March 01, 2006
Italian minister says anti-terrorism measures a model for others
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Italy's anti-terrorism security measures are drawing interest abroad as a "model to be copied", Italian Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu told a Milan conference on the issue on Tuesday.

The minister said this month's Winter Olympics in Turin showed Italy's organizational efficiency in dealing with mass assembly events, according to Italian news Agency ANSA.

"The Turin Olympics allowed for even more improvements to the Italian security model for large-scale security-risk events", Pisanu said.

Pisanu recalled that former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani praised the Olympics security organization as "a model that should be copied."

On Tuesday, U.S. President George W. Bush thanked Italy for hosting the Olympics, saying the organization had been " magnificent."

A massive security operation involving some 15,000 officers, the armed forces, and Italian and foreign secret services helped ward off the threat of terrorist attacks.

Over the last few years, Italian police have arrested 203 suspected terrorists, said Pisanu, adding that he had taken responsibility for expelling another 30 suspects.

He recalled that police and military units have been watching over 13,000 potential terrorist targets following the 2005 bombings in London and the 2004 ones in Madrid.

Pisanu also provided data showing that criminal activity in general has dropped in Italy since 2001.

According to the figures, there was a 17 percent drop in the number of murders while thefts fell by 34 percent and armed assaults by 9.7 percent during the last five years.

Source: Xinhua

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