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Australia shifting search planes to the Indian Ocean

Sydney - The two Australian maritime surveillance aircraft helping in the search for a missing Malaysia Airlines passenger jet will shift their focus to the Indian Ocean, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday.

The Lockheed AP-3C long-range aircraft had been searching in the South China Sea for the Boeing 777-200 that lost contact while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

"They will be appropriately re-tasked, given the changing search patterns," he said, pledging any other assistance that Malaysia may request.

"We want to be a good friend to Malaysia," the prime minister said. "If the Malaysians want additional help, we certainly stand ready to supply it."

DPA


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