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Kerala coast on high alert after intel report on IS boat

Last updated on: May 26, 2019 21:19 IST

The Navy, Coast Guard and Coastal police are maintaining a high level of surveillance off Kerala and Lakshadweep coasts following intelligence reports that a boat carrying 15 Islamic State Terrorists had set off from Sri Lanka to Lakshadweep islands.

"The Navy and Coast Guard are maintaining vigil. Ships and aircraft have been engaged to ensure high level of coastal surveillance", Naval sources told PTI on Sunday.

Coastal police are also continuing their vigil. Kerala Police sources had on Saturday said coastal police stations and coastal district police chiefs have been alerted.

Though such alerts are a usual practice, as there is specific information, coastal police stations and police chiefs of coastal districts have been asked to be alert in case suspicious vessels are sighted.

 

The coastal police department said it was on alert since May 23, the day the alert came from Sri Lanka. After the serial bombings in Sri Lanka, Kerala was on alert, especially after National Investigation Agency probes revealed that IS operatives had planned attacks in the state.

Intelligence agencies believe that a considerable number of Keralities are still with the ISIS, which was recently wiped out from Iraq and Syria.

Sri Lanka witnessed a deadly terror attack on Apr 21 when eight blasts rocked the island nation,claiming over 250 lives. The Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the incident.

The Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday said coastal guard vessels and personnel have been alerted following reports of boats allegedly carrying 15 local IS members had set off for India's Lakshdweep islands.

"The Navy has come to know through the reports in local and Indian media that some 15 local IS members were moving to India's Lakshadweep islands through the sea route," Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Isuru Suriyabandara said.

"We have alerted all our coastal guard vessels and personnel," he added.

The spokesperson also said the Navy had not received any official information in this regard.

"The possibility of the local Jihadi group members moving to India, however, had not been communicated to the Navy through the official channels," Suriyabandara said.

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