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Travel alerts issued after Delhi shooting

20 Sep 2010

The Hongkong and Australian governments have issued travel alerts for India, following the shooting yesterday, September 19, 2010, at the Jama Masjid in Old Delhi, which left two Taiwanese tourists injured.

Hongkong issued an “amber outbound travel alert for India”, advising its citizens to “monitor the situation there and exercise caution”. Meanwhile, Australia counselled its citizens to exercise a “high degree of caution”, citing the possibility “terrorist activity by militant groups”. At press time, the local police were still investigating the attackers’ identities, motives and possible links to terrorist groups. Their initial statements have been to link the shooting with local criminals.

The US and UK have followed suit issuing the same messages and asked their people to maintain a low profile when moving around the subcontinent.

The incident has cast a pall over preparations for the 19th Commonwealth Games from October 3 to October 14 in New Delhi, raising fears of similar assaults  occurring during the biggest sporting event Delhi has hosted since 1982.

Two gunmen opened fire at a tourist bus near gate 3 of the mosque at 1130 am, and since then, Indian authorities have issued a red alert and tightened security across the city.A bullet hit one of the victims in the abdomen and another grazed the head of the second. Both were admitted to Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan Hospital.

This is the second violent mishap involving overseas visitors. On August 23, a disgruntled former police officer in the Philippines took a busload of Hongkong tourists, eight of whom died during a bungled rescue attempt by local law enforcers.

Alisha Haridasani

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