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Mumbai – style another terrorist attack averted

Coast Guard Intercepts Suspect Boat Carrying Explosives in Arabian Sea New Delhi: An intelligence based midnight operation was conducted on the intervening night of Dec 31 and yesterdayby the Indian Coast Guard ships and aircraft to intercept a suspect fishing boat in Arabian Sea near Indo-Pak maritime boundary, approximately 365 km from Porbander. As per the intelligence inputs received on 31st December, a fishing boat from KetiBunder near Karachi was planning some illicit transaction in Arabian Sea. Based on the input, Coast Guard Dornier aircraft undertook sea - air coordinated search and located the suspect fishing boat. Thereafter, the Coast Guard ship on patrol in area was diverted and intercepted the unlit boat at about midnight of 31st December in position 365 km West-South West of Porbandar. The Coast Guard ship warned the fishing boat to stop for further investigation of the crew and cargo; however, the boat increased speed and tried to escape away from the Indian side of maritime boundary. The hot pursuit continued for nearly one hour and the Coast Guard ship managed to stop the fishing boat after firing warning shots. Four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded all warnings by the Coast Guard ship to stop and cooperate with investigation. Soon thereafter, the crew hid themselves in below deck compartment and set the boat on fire, which resulted in explosion and major fire on the boat. Due to darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burnt and sank in the same position, in early hours of 1st January. Coast Guard ships and aircraft are continuing operations in area to search for any possible survivor. Coast Guard and other security agencies are maintaining high vigil in maritime and coastal areas since last couple of months due to several inputs on threat from the sea. A boat from Pakistan blew itself up off the Gujarat coast on New Year's Eve. There were four people on the boat. So far, no survivors have been found. In 26/11, a Pakistani boat sailed into Mumbai with 10 terrorists on board who then split into pairs and struck the city's landmarks; 166 people were killed in India's worst-ever terror attack. On New Year's Eve, intelligence agencies had inputs that a boat had sailed from near Karachi to carry out what sources described as "an illicit transaction" in the Arabian Sea, about 350 kms south west of Porbandar in Gujarat. A midnight operation was launched using ships and a Dornier aircraft to locate the fishing boat. After a three-hour search, the unlit boat was located, and a Coast Guard ship that was patrolling the area was diverted. The Coast Guard fired warning shots at the boat, which then sped up and tried to escape. After a one-hour chase, the men on board who had gone below deck set fire to the vessel. A huge explosion and flames were seen.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He is serving as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University, the university which controlling 440 colleges of Engineering, Management, Pharmacy & Architecture colleges in Gujarat.

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