Security stepped up for Bhutto intl boxing tourney in Pak

Security stepped up for Bhutto intl boxing tourney in Pak

Indian boxers Naresh Singh (L) and Sanjay Singh (R) leave the arrivals hall of Jinnah international Airport in Karachi on Dec 31, 2009. AFP

The attack in the NWFP province killed 65 people as a bomber drove his explosive laden SUV into a crowd watching a volleyball match near the town of Lakki Marwat.

Sindh Sports minister Muhammad Ali Shah said the federal and provincial governments were closely monitoring the security arrangements for the tournament, beginning today.
"Obviously we already have top security arrangements in place at the team hotel and tournament venue but we have stepped up security to ensure a smooth event," Shah said.
India have sent three boxers -- Sanjay Singh, Naresh Singh and Parnoj Singh -- for the event which will also see teams from 15 other countries including China, Hungary, Uzbekistan, Chinese Taipei, Vietnam, Singapore, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, Cameroon competing.
Foreign teams have refused to visit Pakistan since militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore last year in March leaving six Pakistani policemen and a driver dead and six of the cricketers wounded.

The Benazir Bhutto tournament is the first major international event being held in Pakistan since that attack and the first time India have sent its sportsmen to Pakistan since the Mumbai terror attacks in 2008.
Akram Khan, the secretary of the Pakistan Boxing Federation, said that the visiting boxers and officials were satisfied with the security arrangements.
"We have even set up a special practice ring and have provided other training facilities at the team hotel to avoid making the teams travel to the competition venue," he said.
He said the Indians were enjoying their stay in the city and some of them had even gone out shopping on Thursday night.
India coach Shiv Singh said providing security was the responsibility of the organisers and the Pakistani government.
"We are here to compete in a sporting event and we have been cleared by our government that is what matters to us," he said.

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