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Indian Coast Guard intercepts suspicious Iranian boat in high seas of Kerala

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Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Coast Guard intercepted a suspicious Iranian boat in the high seas of Kerala early Sunday, escorted it to a berth near the famed Kovalam beach, and handed it over to police, an official statement said.

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A Coast Guard press release issued here Sunday said that on Friday, the state police had informed them about movement of a suspicious fishing trawler, likely to be involved in transfer of high value contraband on the high seas, about 100 kms west of Alleppey.

On receipt of the information, a Dornier aircraft was deployed on surveillance sorties, while ships Samar and Abhinav also sailed from Kochi at maximum speed to carry out effective surveillance and interdict the suspect entity.

The aircraft, after prolonged area surveillance in rough weather conditions, sighted one suspicious contact around Saturday midnight and the ships shadowed the vessel “Barooki” , remaining out of visual range to avoid detection.

Before the break of dawn, a Coast Guard team of ICGS Samar boarded the suspected vessel and took control of it and its 12 crew members. A search resulted in seizure of a Thuraya satellite communication set and a Pakistani identity card.

The boat, which had sailed from Iran on May 25, was then escorted to Vizhinjam harbour and it and its crew handed over to Kerala Police who have started a joint interrogation along with central agencies. (IANS)

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Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak In Kerala

At least 13 people died and more than 2,000 were kept under observation when the virus struck in May

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Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak In Kerala
Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak In Kerala. (IANS)

Fruit bats were the source of Nipah virus which created havoc in Kerala’s Kozhikode in May according to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), an official said on Tuesday.

Kerala Health Secretary Rajiv Sadanandan said that tests of the first batch of 21 bats were were negative, but the second set of tests done on 55 fruit bats from Kozhikode confirmed that the nocturnal mammals were behind the spread.

Sadanandan told IANS that Union Health Minister J.P. Nadda on Tuesday confirmed the latest test results.

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At least 13 people died and more than 2,000 were kept under observation when the virus struck in May. Most of them were from Kozhikode district and some from Malappuram.

Even when the final green signal came from Kerala health authorities that the fear of the spread has been contained, the source of the virus outbreak was yet to be ascertained.

The ICMR is the country’s premier body engaged in formulation, coordination and promotion of biomedical research. (IANS)

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