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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 20 June 2018

Fishermen seize Iranian vessel, Yemen's premier says

Regional and Western sources have said that Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to Yemen's rebel Houthi movement

An Iranian ship with 19 sailors was seized near a Yemeni island by local fisherman, Yemen’s prime minister said.

Ahmed Obeid bin Daghr said on his Twitter account on Saturday that the vessel was detained off the coast of Socotra, the largest island in an archipelago south of Yemen.

He thanked the fishermen of another island in the archipelago, Abd Al Kuri.

“Thank you [for] the fishermen of Abd Al Kuri island Socotra, who captured Iranian ship with 19 sailors. Homeland protection [is] common responsibility,” he said.

Although there was no immediate official Iranian reaction to the prime minister’s comments, the semi-official Fars news agency reported that the Yemen government — which Tehran does not recognise — “claims” it has seized an Iranian ship with 19 crew members.

There were no further details on the ship or its cargo.

Iran has been supporting Yemen’s rebel Houthi movement by sending weapons and military advisers.

A Saudi-led coalition — which includes the UAE — has been fighting alongside the forces of the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi against the Houthis since March 2015.

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