Italian vessel fired 24 shots

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The weapon seizure operation carried out on board the Italian merchant vessel Enrica Lexie by the special investigation team has given crucial evidences on the number of rounds fired by the two arrested navy men.

According to top sources, police assume that 24 rounds of bullets were fired from the vessel and two among these might have killed the two fishermen.

The number of rounds was calculated from the number of bullets left in the two mounted machine guns on board.

Top sources said that there were 22 and 18 bullets left in each machine gun. The firearm, police officials, said have a capacity to load 32 bullets at a time, which hints that the two guns have together fired 24 rounds.

“They might have opened fire using mounted machine guns. Only these guns offer binocular vision. It would be difficult to make a head-shot from such a distance using a rifle,” said a ballistic expert.The police have also seized six other rifles from the custody of four navy men on the vessel.

According to sources, a list of weapon inventory submitted by the Italians to the police and the customs has 32 items – two mounted machine guns, six rifles, 18 pistols and six bullet proof jackets.

Italian foreign minister in India on Monday

Italy will probably be hoping that its foreign minister Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant’ Agata is able to seek the release of two marines, who are in judicial custody in Kochi on the charage of allegedly shooting dead two fishermen. Terzi will be in India on a two-day bilateral visit beginning Tuesday.

It is expected that one of the main items on his agenda during the visit will be to see how the marines can be extricated from the situation they're in. Mr Terzi will be meeitng his counterpart, S.M. Krishna with whom he had spoken on the phone even before the marinesarrest.

Italian deputy foreign minister Staffan de Mistura had been rushed to Delhi last week following the arrest of the marines.

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