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(photo credit: AP)
A terrorist threat has prompted England to pull out of the badminton World Championships scheduled to begin Monday in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad.
Badminton England released a statement saying there had been a reported threat against the Championships by the Pakistan-based Islamic militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.
Chief executive Adrian Christy said there was consultation with the British Foreign Office and British High Commission and local police before making the decision to withdraw from the event - second only to the Olympics as badminton's leading tournament.
"This was an incredibly tough decision and one we didn't take lightly," Christy said in a statement.
"We were not prepared to risk the safety of our players, coaches and staff in what we felt could have been a very volatile environment.
"The conclusion is that safety is of paramount importance and therefore, with great regret, the team will be returning home immediately."
High performance director Ian Moss said the decision was supported unanimously by the squad.
"Our athletes were extremely well prepared for these Championships but, at the end of the day, personal safety must take priority over performance," Moss said.
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