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Monday, 3 December, 2001, 20:51 GMT
US tightens security on Canada border
Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Herbert Gray with US Attorney General John Ashcroft
Several hundred extra guards will patrol the border
By the BBC's Kathy Kay

The US and Canadian Governments have announced new measures to beef up security along their shared 6,400-kilometre (3,980-mile) border.

The measures, which have been introduced in response to the attacks of 11 September, include doubling the number of border guards and coordinating visa policies between the two countries.

US Attorney General John Ashcroft said the new border security measures were designed to prevent undesirable individuals crossing into America and threatening American lives.

The agreement will also add several hundred extra US national guard officers to help patrol the border, along with military helicopters to monitor it from the skies.

Safety risk

The two countries have also promised to step up intelligence co-operation.

Canadian rally to support Americans in New York on 1 December
Canadians rallied in support of America after 11 September

Since the 11 September attacks America has boosted internal security and the long US-Canadian border is seen as a safety risk.

In 1999 Canadian and US border police arrested a man trying to enter America in a car packed with explosives.

He was allegedly plotting to blow up Los Angeles' international airport during the city's millennium celebrations.

Mr Ashcroft said that the arrest illustrated both the problems and the benefits of co-operation.

He added that the two countries have a choice; they can either fight terrorism alone or stand together.

However the extra forces will not actually be in place for another year and even then the US-Canadian border will still only be guarded by fewer than 1,000 officers.

This is compared to 9,000 along the US-Mexican border which is about half the size.

See also:

16 Oct 01 | Americas
Canada tightens net on terrorism
14 Oct 01 | Americas
Knives hidden on Air Canada plane
16 Jun 00 | Americas
Bin Laden 'using Canada as base'
23 Oct 01 | Business
Bayer beats Canada in anthrax row
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