After US, terror alert comes from Oz, UK

Foreigners asked to stay away from markets

After US, terror alert comes from Oz, UK

no fear: Foreigners peruse items for sale in New Delhi market on Thursday. AFP

Australia and the United Kingdom have also advised their citizens to avoid some shopping areas in New Delhi, after the US warned that city markets frequented by foreigners were vulnerable to terrorist assault.

The alert identified some popular shopping areas and advised Americans travelling or residing in India to be vigilant.

 Reacting to the warning, Delhi Police Commissioner  Y S Dadwal said:  “I can not pre-empt threats. Threats are there”, and the police were “wide awake” to it.

The US advisory mentioned busy places like Chandni Chowk, Rajiv Chowk (Connaught Place), Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh and Mehrauli as places which are “attractive targets for terrorist groups”.

Concerns over security have increased ahead of the  Commonwealth Games, involving 54 nations, which the capital is hosting later this year.

The city has been plagued by frequent attacks like the blasts at a busy shopping area that killed 20 people and injured 90 in 2008. Three-years before that, more than 60 people were killed and 210 injured in two explosions in the crowded Sarojini Nagar and Paharganj markets. “There are increased indications that terrorists are planning attacks in New Delhi," read a statement posted on the US Embassy website on Wednesday.

“Terrorists have targeted places in the past where US citizens or westerners are known to congregate or visit.” About half a dozen markets may be “especially attractive targets,” it said.

Terrorists targeted Pune in February killing 15 people, the first major strike in India since the November 2008 Mumbai attack in which 166 people died. Lashkar-e-Taiba was held responsible for the attack The alerts came after low-intensity explosions delayed a weekend IPL match in Bangalore, injuring a dozen people.

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