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US borders tougher than ever, authorities on alert, says Trump

IANS | Washington |

United States President Donald Trump on Friday said the country’s borders were stronger than ever and that authorities were on alert following terror attacks in Spain that left at least 14 people dead and more than 100 injured.

“Our borders are far tougher than ever before!” Trump tweeted, adding that the “(Department of) Homeland Security and law enforcement are on alert & closely watching for any sign of trouble”.

Trump, however, accused Democrats and the US federal courts of stymieing his efforts to further bolster security.

“The Obstructionist Democrats make Security for our country very difficult. They use the courts and associated delay at all times. Must stop!”

The President was referring to his efforts via executive order to prohibit for 90 days the entry of travellers from six mostly Muslim countries — Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen — and suspend the refugee programme for 120 days, Efe reported.

Federal judges issued rulings in March prohibiting Trump’s revised travel ban from taking effect, but the US Supreme Court partially lifted those suspensions in late June and July and agreed to review the case later this year.

Trump’s latest tweets were prompted by the recent terror attacks in Spain’s Catalonia region, where a van on Thursday smashed into dozens of pedestrians on Barcelona’s famed Las Ramblas boulevard, killing 13 people and injuring more than 100, and a separate vehicle attack and stabbing early Friday targeting pedestrians in the seaside town of Cambrils killed one woman and injured five others.

Police killed all five suspected terrorists responsible for that second attack, which they said was believed to be linked to the Barcelona van attack.

The Islamic State terror organisation on Thursday claimed responsibility for the Ramblas attack, while investigators are looking for Moussa Oukabir, a 17-year-old Moroccan national, as the suspected van driver.

Four suspects linked to the attacks have been arrested.