Yemen confirms seizing five Iranians on arms-loaded boat
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Last Updated: Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 18:02
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 rebels.

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.

Bureau Report

First Published: Wednesday, October 28, 2009, 18:02

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