|Malaysian acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein speaks during the press conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, March 26, 2014. The Malaysian government announced Wednesday that analysts studying satellite photos from France had found 122 unidentified objects floating in the southern Indian Ocean more than 2,500 km from the southwest Australia city of Perth. (Xinhua/Wang Shen)
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KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia announced Wednesday that 122 potential objects have been identified in new satellite imagery that might be connected to the ongoing search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370.
Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told a press briefing that the latest satellite images were taken Sunday and provided on Tuesday by France-based Airbus Defense and Space.
Based on the analysis done by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency (MRSA), 122 potential objects were able to be identified in an area of some 400 square km, he added.
Some objects are one meter in length, while others are as long as 23 meters, the minister said, adding that some items appear to be bright, possibly indicating solid materials.
The newly identified potential objects were located approximately 2,557 km from Perth, he said.
Hishammuddin said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and himself met with Chinese special envoy Zhang Yesui, who is also a vice foreign minister.
During their conversation, the Chinese delegation were fully updated on the latest information from British company Inmarsat, he said, adding that they also received a comprehensive briefing from the international technical team.
Hishammuddin said an international working group had been established on the basis of the new information provided by Inmarsat. The group involves Inmarsat, AAIB, the Chinese CAAC and AAID, NTSB, FAA, Boeing and Rolls Royce as well as the relevant Malaysian authorities.
Australia has divided the search area into two sectors, East and West, with each area seeing six planes conducting search operation in it, the acting minister said. "Two ships will also join the search operations," he added.
Hishammuddin reiterated that search operations in the northern corridor and in the northern part of the southern corridor had been called off, and diplomatic notes to all relevant countries to formally inform them of this change had been sent by Malaysia.
He said the Malaysia Airlines was taking a lead in communicating with the families and would hold another press conference Thursday.
Razak announced Monday evening that flight MH370, which vanished while flying to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, had ended in the southern Indian Ocean.
China has not suspended its search operation in possible search areas despite the announcement.
Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered relevant Chinese agencies to help Malaysia and all other parties involved carry on the search operations and make proper arrangements for all aspects of the matter.
Flight MH370, a Boeing 777-200, went missing on its way to Beijing on March 8, shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. The plane was carrying 12 crew and 227 passengers, including 154 Chinese.
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