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Italian marines shot fishermen with Baretta rifles

Kochi: The two Italian marines of `Encrica Lexie`, who shot dead Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast on February 15 had used two Beretta rifles to commit the offence, according to the Forensic Sciences Laboratory (FSL) report.

The report has been filed before the Kollam Chief Judicial magistrate court, a copy of which was received by the Special Investigation Team (SIT) headed by Kochi police commissioner, M R Ajith Kumar, police said.

It said two Beretta ARX 160 weapons in service with the Italian San Marico Regiment were used to commit the offence. The weapons had not been tampered with and the laboratory could identify the weapons used to shoot the fishermen.

Police had seized six Beretta rifles and two Belgian FN Minimi (Mini Machine Guns) out of 15 weapons and 10,000 bullets stored in the vessel after the incident. The two Beretta guns used to commit the offence were identified after forensic tests, the report stated.

"We could confirm the guns after examining the bullets recovered from the body of the deceased. No sniper guns were used for killing the fishermen. We could not locate any tampering in the material seized," the report said.

The marines Latore Masimiliano and Salvatore Girrone, who were arrested after they shot the fishermen mistaking them to be pirates, are presently lodged in Thiruvananthapuram central jail.

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