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India issues terror alert, possible hijacking

ABC7 Eyewitness News HD covering Los Angeles and Southern California.

January 21, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Indian airports were on high alert Friday after intelligence services received information that al-Qaida-linked militants were plotting to hijack a plane. Such an attack would be the first major terror strike against India since 10 militants rampaged through the city of Mumbai for three days in November 2008, killing 166 people.

Aviation spokeswoman Moushumi Chakravarty said that the airports were placed on alert Thursday after the government received warnings from the intelligence agencies.

A report in The Indian Express newspaper, which Chakravarty confirmed, said intelligence officials had uncovered a plot by militants linked to al-Qaida and the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group to hijack an Air India or Indian Airlines flight destined for a neighboring South Asian country.

U.K. Bansal, a top home ministry official, said security was tightened at all airports and passengers were being subjected to more intense security screenings. The India Express reported that sky marshals would also be deployed on flights around the region.


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