Pakistani 'terror' boat blows up off Gujarat coast

Intelligence inputs were received on December 31 that a fishing boat from Keti Bunder near Karachi was planning some sort of action in the Arabian Sea, based on which the Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft undertook a sea and air search and located the suspect fishing boat. The Coast Guard warned the boat and demanded it stop for further investigation of the crew and cargo, but the vessel increased its speed and tried to escape from the Indian side of the maritime boundary. The Coast Guard said four persons were seen on the boat who disregarded their warnings and later hid themselves below deck and allegedly set the boat on fire which resulted in an explosion and major fire on board. Due to the darkness, bad weather and strong winds, the boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burned and sank in the early hours of Jan 1. The Coast Guard are continuing their search for any possible survivors. They and other security agencies are maintaining a vigil in maritime and coastal areas because they have received several inputs on threats from the sea. This incident came soon after the 6th anniversary of the 2008 Mumbai terror attack in which ten terrorists reached Mumbai in a boat from Karachi. 166 people were killed in the attack.