India faces possible “imminent” militant attacks in New Delhi, the U.S. Embassy in India’s capital said in a statement on its Web site today.
“There are increased indications that terrorists are planning imminent attacks in New Delhi,” the statement said. “Terrorists have targeted places in the past where U.S. citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit,” it said, warning that markets can be “especially attractive targets for terrorist groups.”
U.S. citizens were urged to “practice good security, maintain a heightened situational awareness and a low profile,” according to a travel alert issued April 16 about ongoing security concerns in India.
“We are aware about the advisory and we have made elaborate arrangements,” Rajan Bhagat, spokesman for the Delhi Police Department said in a phone interview. “There is no need to panic. We appeal to the people to remain alert.”
Ten Pakistani gunmen killed 166 people and carried out a siege in India’s financial center of Mumbai in November 2008, arriving unnoticed by boat before spreading out to attack the city’s main railway station and two luxury hotels.
India blamed the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba group for the raid on its financial capital and halted peace talks with its neighbor and rival.
Five bombs exploded in three New Delhi markets on Sept. 13, 2008, killing as many as 26 people and injuring about 133. A group called Indian Mujahideen claimed responsibility.
A bombing in the western city of Pune in February killed 15 people, the first major terrorist strike in India since the 2008 Mumbai attack.