Home Secretary Douglas Hurd urged Parliament Tuesday to approve a tough anti-terrorist law and defended a provision allowing suspected terrorists to be detained for up to seven days without being charged.

"The last 20 years has seen a terrorist campaign unparalleled in the Western world, aimed ostensibly at the goal of a united Marxist Ireland," Hurd said during debate on whether to make the Prevention of Terrorism Act stronger and permanent.Under the act, terrorist suspects may be held for as long as seven days without being accused of a crime. From July to September 1988, 433 people were detained under a temporary version of the measure, 78 of whom were later charged.