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Naval warships, aircraft look for terror 'mothership'

November 27, 2008 17:56 IST

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Coverage: Terror strikes at Mumbai's heart

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard on Thursday pressed into service warships and surveillance aircraft to scour the high seas in and around Mumbai to look for 'Mother Ship' which could have ferried the terrorists who carried out attacks in this metropolis.

"The Naval and Coast Guards ships have since this morning intercepted and checked antecedents of all the vessels operating or moored around the metropolis," Vice-admiral J S Bedi, Flag Officer Commanding in Chief Western Naval Command said in Mumbai.

The surveillance of large areas of the Arabian Sea is still on, Bedi said as he disclosed that two naval warships along with vessels from the Coast Guard, helicopter and

Dornier maritime reconnaissance aircraft were involved in the massive sea-hunt.

These comments come in the wake of eye-witnesses saying they had seen young men in their early twenties carrying heavy rucksacks disgorge from high speed boats off the Gateway of India.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has said that the terrorists got ashore in South Mumbai using boats.

"We have been boarding a number of vessels and so far we have found that most of the ships searched has valid papers," the Admiral told NDTV.

His clarifications came as earlier reports has said that naval warships were in hot pursuit of a suspicious looking vessel which could have disgorged these terrorists near the Mumbai coast.

"The information regarding the terrorists having come by boat or sea is still not  authenticated," Bedi said.

He said any information if state authorities had about the terrorists taking the sea route had not been shared with the navy.

Bedi said that the state chief secretary had got in touch with him around mid-night to ask for deployment of specialised Marcos commandos against the terrorists.

He said two units of Marcos which had been withdrawn after day-break had been re-deployed to take part in the final assault.

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