Combating piracy top priority: Antony

Bangalore, Feb 7 (PTI) Defence Minister A K Antonytoday said piracy was a matter of concern for India andcombating the maritime terror was one of the topmostpriorities of the government.

"Almost all major navies are operating in the Gulf ofEden. Pirates have also changed their tactics," he said on thesidelines of a function here.

"They have found that in Gulf of Eden large number ofnavies are operating. They found it difficult...(to carry out)all kinds of pirate operations. So they are now alsoexpanding....pushing too far to other areas.

"Now since last year, there has been a series ofincidents of pirate activities, 14 of them in this area. Afterthis, Indian coast Guard and Navy took a decision tostrengthen their presence in the area near Lakshadweep," hesaid, leading to defeat of two serious attempts by pirates.

He said efforts would be made to deploy more assetsand concentrate on areas near Lakshwadweeep.

Besides Somali pirates, there might be some otheragents, source or force helping the pirates, the ministersaid.

"This is also a worry for us. We will go to the rootof it. Combating pirates is one of the top most priorities ofthe Indian Navy and Coast Guard," Antony said.

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