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Two Pakistani vessels apprehended

Home Ministry sources say the Pakistani merchant vessels apprehended off the coast of Gujarat are suspected to be the ships that ferried the terrorists near to Mumbai coast yesterday. See map.

india Updated: Nov 27, 2008 23:25 IST

In its search to find the 'mother ship' of the terrorists who have attacked Mumbai, India on Thursday apprehended two Pakistani merchant vessels off the coast of Gujarat in a joint operation carried out by the Navy, Coast Guard and the water wing of the Border Security Force (BSF).

"We have apprehended two cargo ships in a joint operation near the Gujarat coast while they were sailing to Karachi. They are suspected to be the ships that ferried the terrorists near to Mumbai coast yesterday," Home Ministry sources told PTI in the Capital.

The three sea-guarding forces were put on a high alert after intelligence agencies gave inputs about a merchant vessel, suspected to be involved in the terror attacks on Mumbai since Wednesday, trying to move towards Karachi in Pakistan.

The forces were, in fact, conducting their routine joint exercises in the general area of the Gujarat coast when they received the intelligence inputs and they immediately diverted their assets for searching the run-away merchant vessel.

"In the evening, Indian ships sighted two ships including the one about which intelligence agencies had given a tip-off," Home Ministry sources said.

The Indian ships apprehended both the cargo ships, which were identified as MV Alpha and MV Al Kabir. Officers of the three forces were ascertaining the credentials of the crew on board the two ships, sources added.