NEW DELHI (AP) — An Indian coast guard ship intercepted a Pakistani fishing boat suspected of carrying explosives in the Arabian Sea, and the four occupants of the vessel blew it up after a nearly hour-long chase, India's Defense Ministry said Friday.
The ministry said intelligence sources indicated that the boat from near Karachi was planning an unspecified illegal transaction. It said an aircraft and the coast guard ship intercepted the boat late Wednesday and demanded it stop to allow a search of its crew and cargo. The boat attempted to escape from Indian waters after warning shots were fired, it said.
The ministry said after nearly an hour, the people on the boat set it on fire, causing it to explode and sink near the India-Pakistan maritime boundary, about 365 kilometers (230 miles) west of the Indian town of Porbander. There was no sign of their bodies.
"The boat and persons on board could not be saved or recovered. The boat burnt and sank in the same position, in early hours of Jan. 1," the statement said.
There was no immediate comment from Pakistan.
Maroof Raza, strategic affairs editor of the TimesNow news channel, said the people on the vessel may have been planning a New Year's attack on an Indian navy base or a coastal town.
Attackers in the 2008 terrorist assault on Mumbai, in which 166 people were killed, sailed to the Indian financial capital in a boat from Karachi.