Pakistani Boat Intercepted Amid High Alert Ahead of Barack Obama Visit

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Pakistani Boat Intercepted Amid High Alert Ahead of Barack Obama Visit

A Pakistani vessel blew itself up off the Gujarat coast on New Year's Eve

New Delhi:  A Pakistani fishing boat that ignored warning shots from the Coast Guard to slow down off the Gujarat coast blew itself up late on New Year's Eve, the government disclosed today. (Read more...) The operation to locate the boat is a major success for Indian intelligence agencies and comes amid a national alert for a possible terror strike in the lead-up to President Barack Obama's visit this month.

The unlit boat, which was carrying explosives according to a government statement, had at least four men on board; the government says they set the boat on fire after a one-hour chase by the Coast Guard which came after intel inputs that a boat had set sail from near Karachi in Pakistan for "an illicit transaction" in the Arabian Sea near Porbandar in Gujarat.

On December 17, the government put security agencies on a nationwide alert after the Pakistani Taliban stormed a school in Peshawar in North West Pakistan and killed at least 130 children.

An advisory sent out to law enforcement agencies asked for increased security at vulnerable installations such as public transport, including railways, and schools. Agencies said they had intercepted conversations involving the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba which suggested plans for a terror attack. The Lashkar was behind the 26/11 attack in Mumbai in 2008 in which 166 people were killed after 10 terrorists sailed into the financial capital. They had set sail from Karachi. 

President Obama is due in India for Republic Day ceremonies on January 26 - it will be the first time a US president has attended the parade. He is the Chief Guest for the Republic Day parade.


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