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US warns of attack, asks nationals to avoid crowded Delhi markets

world Updated: Apr 22, 2010 11:20 IST

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United States has "credible information" about terrorists planning to carry out strike in some Indian cities and target American nationals, and US Embassy in New Delhi has issued a warning alerting its citizens, a senior Obama administration official said today.

"Yes, we have sufficient credible information," the official said when asked about the reasons for issuing of 'Warden Message' by US Embassy in New Delhi yesterday.

The relevant information has been shared with Indian Government and there is co-operation between the intelligence agencies of the two countries to jointly thwart such a terrorist threat, he added.

However, he did not specify which terrorist outfits were planning such an attack in India particularly at places where US citizens or Westerners are known to congregate or visit.

"Markets, such as those located in Chandni Chowk, Connaught Place, Greater Kailash, Karol Bagh, Mehrauli, and Sarojini Nagar, can be especially attractive targets for terrorist groups," said the Warden message issued by the US Embassy.

Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs P J Crowley, during his briefing, declined to provide any additional information about the Warden Message, which comes within days of State Department issuing a general travel which said that the US continues to receive intelligence information about terrorists planning attacks in India.

"It was just a caution to our citizens within the US community that we have growing concerns about terrorism and that it might affect, you know, both Indian citizens and American citizens," Crowley said in response to a question.

"We are very mindful of the fact that in the Mumbai attacks both Americans and Indians died, and citizens of other countries as well. So it was just a prudent warning to our citizens, as they continue their business in the country," he observed.

Noting that India and US were sharing intelligence with regard to counter-terror operations, Crowley said: "This just underscores the fact that we have ongoing concerns about, those who would try to disrupt favourable trends, regarding security and cooperation in the region. We would continue to do everything possible to prevent these attacks."

He, at the same time, indicated that there were definitely some concerns, which he would not like to share at this point of time.

"Whether we have specific threat information against those markets or just we have indications that the threat involves public spaces, I just can't comment," Crowley said.