False alert in Kochi over rogue boat

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Kochi, Mar 31 (ANI): An alert raised over the sighting of a rogue boat, suspected to be of Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), off Kochi in Kerala on Monday, turned out to be a mistake.ochi and the adjoining coastal areas were on high security alert after a tip off that few miscreants with arms were seen on a boat near Cherthala beach in Alleppey district.

Following a fax message to police by navy stating that a group of suspected LTTE militants could have sneaked into the state, the security forces swung into action, laying check points at all entry roads to the city. Even the commandos were deployed.

"This is not a confirmed report, so no one need to panic. We are verifying if someone has come from the other place. Still we are on high," said Jacob Punnose, Director General of Police.

Indian Coast Guard and the Navy have been intensively patrolling the waters off India's southern tip as the Tamil Tiger rebels face rout at the hands of Sri Lankan army in the LTTE's strongholds in the island.

On Monday, Sri Lanka's navy killed 26 Tamil Tigers and destroyed four boats during a six-hour sea battle on the coast just off the sliver of land where the separatists are fighting.

One sailor was killed and three others were injured in the gun duel off of Chalai, north of the military-declared no-fire zone where the LTTE are dug in among tens of thousands of civilians.

The military expects to end soon the 25-year separatist conflict that saw the Tigers at one point controlling 15,000 square km of the Indian Ocean nation. As of now, they control around 25 square km.

The Tigers now hold only one square km outside the no-fire zone.New Delhi reviewed maritime security following the November 26, 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. (ANI)

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