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Goa on Al-Qaeda target: Israel

Israel advises its citizens against travelling to the popular beach area amid Qaeda threat during Christmas.

india Updated: Dec 14, 2006 12:47 IST

Israel said tourists visiting Goa during the Christmas holidays face a "concrete threat" of an Al-Qaeda attack and advised its citizens on Wednesday against travelling to the popular beach area.

Last month, Indian authorities decided to strengthen security in Goa after intelligence agencies warned of a "Bali-like" attack, referring to the 2002 bombings that killed 202 people, many of them foreigners on vacation.

Goa's police chief, saying state agencies did not want to take any chances, denied at the time there was any specific threat against the region.

In a travel advisory on its Hebrew-language website, Israel's foreign ministry said, "Within the framework of Al-Qaeda's terror threats in India, there is now a concrete threat focusing on the Goa region where multitudes of visitors, including Israelis, gather ... in late December."

It said Israel's Counter-Terrorism Authority recommended Israeli citizens stay away from sites in Goa popular with Westerners and Israelis over the next few weeks.

Nearly 4,00,000 tourists flock to Goa's beaches and palm groves during the peak October-March season.