Sanaa: Yemen has confirmed the
arrest of five Iranians on a boat loaded with weapons, claimed
earlier by local officials to be destined to Shiite rebels
locked in fierce fighting with the army since August.
"Security forces have arrested five Iranians on board a
suspicious Iranian boat loaded with weapons off the shores of
Midi, in the province of Hajjah," government spokesman Hassan
al-Louzi said, according to Saba state news agency.
"They are being questioned and the results will be made
public," added Louzi, who is also the minister of information.
A local official in the northwestern province of Hajjah
had told AFP on Monday that an Iranian boat carrying arms to
the rebels has been seized in the Red Sea.
The province of Hajjah adjoins the rebels` stronghold of
Saada -- scene of heavy fighting between the army and the
Another local official had said to a news agency that according to the
preliminary results of an inquiry, "the five Iranians are
instructors" who had planned to deliver the weapons to rebels
"and evacuate wounded Iranians."
Iranian state-owned television on yesterday denied the
Yemeni reports and quoted an unnamed source as charging that
they were a "media lie."
The state-owned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines
today denied an Iranian ship was involved.