Massive patrolling operation by Navy, Coast Guard in Indian waters

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New Delhi, Nov 27 (UNI) The Indian Navy has stepped up efforts to nab any suspect ship in and around Indian waters this evening, after the hot pursuit and later 'capture' of Vietnamese 'M V Alpha' yielded nothing as it was found with valid documents and released.

Meanwhile, Navy's 'Marcos Commandos' today seized a large quantity of explosives along with ATM cards of terrorists during one of their encounters on the second floor of the upscale Taj Hotel in Mumbai, according to top Naval sources.

The 'catch' considered 'significant' has brought the focus back on the sponsors of terror as the ATM card was likely to exactly pinpoint the source of not just funding but the masters behind the 'plot'.

However, Naval officials refused to divulge the names on the ATM cards saying ''they were 'Visa' and 'Mastercards' valid all over the globe.'' On the other hand, the Indian Air Force (IAF) had put seven of its aircrafts, including two 'IL-76 Gajraj' and four 'AN-32' planes and an 'Ambrear', on 'alert' - ready for immediate action, for any supportive action to back the Indian Navy which was already in the seas, along with the Coast Guard, with three ships and four aircrafts.

''Surveillance is still on and no suspect ship in the region would be spared,'' Naval sources added.

Naval officials also said the encounter in Taj Hotel revealed that the attackers were highly trained and motivated and had prepared for a long haul.

''Large quantity of explosives, AK 47s, grenades, magazines, several rounds of ammunition and dry fruits were seized from the terrorists.'' Five teams of 'Prahar' commandos, belonging to the elite 'Marcos' group - who tackle high-sea operations, were battling terrorists in Mumbai.

''Of these three were in Taj Hotel and two in Trident Hotel.'' Army officials, on their part, said in all ten columns of about 100 personnel each, were involved in operations in Mumbai.

''While five were there previously, five coloumns were sent later.'' Earlier, Vietnam-registered 'M V Alpha' was chased and intercepted about 70 nautical miles off India shores by Coast Guard ship and its personnel 'questioned'.

They were later let off after all documents found on them were found valid, nullifying suspicion that it had shipped a team of suspects who carried out attacks in Mumbai last evening.

Two Dornier aircrafts and two motorcrafts of the Coast Guard were sent on 'hot pursuit' from Mumbai soon after 'M V Alpha' aroused suspicion due to its close movements around Indian shores from where the terrorists are said to have started for their operation.

UNI AN PD NS1921

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