Yemen’s Navy seized an Iranian- flagged ship off the Yemeni Island of Socotra in the Arabian Sea on Thursday after the latter illegally entered the country’s territorial waters, the Yemeni Defence Ministry said in a statement.
It added the Yemeni navy forces also arrested the ship’s crew members of 21 Iranian sailors.
“The ship was observed by the Navy’s patrol boats when it illegally entered into the Yemeni territorial waters off the southern coasts on Thursday’s early morning,” the statement posted on the ministry’s online web site quoted an unidentified naval official as saying.
“The ship’s crew had not applied to the Yemeni authorities for permission when they crossed and fished in Yemen’s waters,” said the official, adding that “the crew tried to turn and flee when the navy forces besieged their ship.”
The ship was moved along with its crew to the headquarters of the Yemeni navy in Socotra to take legal actions, the statement added.
Yemen, the impoverished country in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula, has stepping up its navy’s patrol boats along the Yemeni coastline, Gulf of Aden and its waters after the Somalia-based al-Qaida affiliation vowed to support their counterparts in Yemen.