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Arabian Sea Ship Attack: Probe Finds Iran Connection In Missile Attack On Merchant Ship

The Iran connection was pointed out by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Pune which performed a close examination of the retrieved debris from the Merchant Vessel (MV) Chem Pluto.

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Merchant Vessel (MV) Chem Pluto
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The initial probe in connection with the recent missile attack on the Merchant Vessel (MV) Chem Pluto in the Arabian Sea indicated the deployment of Iranian Shahed 136 loitering ammunition in the attack, according to people privy to the investigation. The merchant ship reportedly was sailing on its way to New Mangalore Port.

The probe points to Iran

The Iran connection was pointed out by the Central Forensic Science Laboratory in Pune which performed a close examination of the retrieved debris from the ship. It has been reported that the Indian Navy has recovered the burnt-out wings of the  Iranian Shahed 136 loitering ammunition. A complete report is expected within a week, officials said.

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Based on the Russian Geran-2 expendable drone, the Shahed 136, with delta wings, has a range of 2,500km and a warhead of 50kg

According to another official, initially, the doubts were on two Iranian vessels — MV Saviz (general cargo and 100 nautical miles off the attacked ship) and MV Artenos (Bulk carrier 280 nautical miles of MV Chem Pluto), But, the search operation conducted by the Indian Navy failed to find any suitable evidence from them.

Indian Navy's surveillance in place

In light of the frequent attacks on commercial vessels in the Arabian Sea, the Indian Navy deployed three warships- INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata- alongside P-8I long-range patrol aircraft for surveillance in the region to maintain a "deterrent presence."

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"Considering the recent spate of attacks in the Arabian Sea, Indian Navy has deployed guided missile destroyers, INS Mormugao, INS Kochi, and INS Kolkata, in various areas to maintain a deterrent presence," a Navy official said.

About the ship attack

MV Chem Pluto, carrying crude oil to New Mangalore port from Al Jubail port in Saudi Arabia, was struck about 217 nautical miles from Porbandar on last Saturday. No one was injured in the incident.

A Gabon-flagged commercial crude oil tanker with 25 Indian crew members also came under a drone attack in the Southern Red Sea on Saturday but no one was injured, according to Indian officials and the US military.

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