Friday, August 18, 2006

Letter threatens attack on Taj Mahal

Indian soldiers are 24-hour alert at the famed Taj Mahal after a letter theretened to blow up the monument, officials said Friday.

The handwritten letter received Thursday reportedly from an al-Qaida supporter said the group plans to attack the Mughal-era monument.

The Taj Mahal is seen in Agra, India in this 1982 file photo. Police in northern India have heightened security around the Taj Mahal after receiving a letter threatening to blow up the monument, officials said Friday, Aug. 18, 2006. (AP Photo/Jeff Robbins, FILE)
The Taj Mahal in Agra, India in 1982. AP Photo/Jeff Robbins, FILE via Yahoo News.

"The letter could be false but we cannot afford to be complacent. We are not taking any chances and have enhanced security at the Taj," Ashok Kumar, a senior government official in Uttar Pradesh said.

At least 100 additional paramilitary troops with automatic weapons have been stationed around the marble domed monument built by Mughal Emperor Shah Jehan between 1632 and 1654 for his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal.