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Soviet-made ships join hunt for 'mines' in Red Sea

Mine-hunting operations by the United States, Egypt and Britain, which have not yet turned up any mines, were hampered by bad weather in the Gulf of Suez Sunday as two Soviet minesweepers sailed into the Red Sea.

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US Sea Stallion helicopters were scanning the middle sector of the gulf, British navy ships were searching the northern end, and the Egyptian navy, using Soviet-made minesweepers, was operating in the southern sector. Two French minehunters were conducting similar operations off Saudi Arabia's Red Sea coast.

The Soviet vessels, identified only as minesweepers 413 and 912, were probably heading toward South Yemen, where there is a Soviet naval base, according to military sources. Unconfirmed reports last week said a Soviet minesweeper was already operating in South Yemeni waters at the mouth of the Red Sea.

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