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'Toy planes' may target VIPs during polls

Security agencies have issued an alert that militants were planning to use explosive-laden toy planes to attack VIPs.

india Updated: Jan 21, 2007 15:33 IST

Ahead of assembly polls in three states, security agencies have issued an alert to officials that militants were planning to use explosive-laden "toy planes" to target VIPs touring during elections.

The alert was issued to Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, asking officials to ensure various layers of security in the "funnel" area of airports, proper securing of helipads, and round-the-clock vigil at the venue of poll campaign meetings and places where VIPs would stay, informed sources said.

According to an intercept by intelligence agencies, militants planned to use "remote controlled airborne aerodynamic modules" (RCAAM) to target the VIPs who would be busy campaigning in these states.

The sources said air restrictions, if necessary, would be imposed to ward off any threat from such objects.

The "toy planes", which can be operated by remote control, have the capacity of carrying 10 to 15 kg of explosives. They can hit targets within a range of 300 to 900 metres, the sources said.

They said Pakistan-based cadres of Jaish-e-Mohammed had received training in assembling such toy planes and two of them had been recovered in 1999 from Gool area of Jammu region.

The sources said intelligence reports about the use of such aircraft had again surfaced ahead of the polls and sanitisation of all venues was necessary.

First Published: Jan 21, 2007 15:33 IST