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Coast Guard launches major search in Arabian Sea

November 28, 2008 18:42 IST

Following revelations that the Mumbai attackers had sneaked in by the sea route, the Coast Guard on Friday launched a major search operation in the Arabian Sea to hunt for any suspicious ship and sanitise the maritime zone.

The Coast Guard pressed into service several of its ships along with helicopters off the coast of Mumbai and Gujarat, an official spokesman said.

"We have sent majority of our ships and aircraft to carry out search operations in the Arabian Sea and for sanitising India's exclusive economic zone," the spokesperson said.

EEZ of a country is the 200-km maritime region from its shores. In Indian waters, the Coast Guard has the responsibility of looking after this region.

Coast Guard and other water guarding agencies were put on an alert after intelligence agencies gave inputs about the involvement of a ship in Mumbai terror strikes and that it was trying to move out of Indian territorial waters towards Karachi in Pakistan.

Coast Guard's aerial assets are also carrying out surveillance over the zone. Its air wing has a fleet of Dorniers, ALH Dhruv and Cheetah/Chetak helicopters deployed along the western coast.

"Almost all the serviceable aircraft are flying search missions over EEZ in order to look for any suspicious movements in our zone," the spokesperson added.

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