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South Korea Confirms 2 Nationals on Board Vessel Hijacked by Houthis

South Korea Confirms 2 Nationals on Board Vessel Hijacked by Houthis

Tuesday, 19 November, 2019 - 08:45
A police trooper stands guard near the Aden port in Aden, Yemen November 16, 2019. (Reuters)
Asharq Al-Awsat

South Korea confirmed on Tuesday that two of its nationals are on board vessels that were hijacked by the Iran-backed Houthi militias in the Red Sea late on Sunday.

Seoul said two of its vessels were captured, a tug boat and a sand dredger, each of which had one South Korean national was on board.

Four other crew members of unknown nationalities were also on board, the South Korean foreign ministry said in a statement.

Both vessels were owned by South Korean builder Woongjin Development, a company official told Reuters.

Another 10 foreign nationals were on board a towing vessel that belongs to Saudi Arabia which was seized along with the two South Korean vessels, the South Korean ministry said.

A South Korean navy ship that has been conducting anti-piracy operations in the Arabian Sea near Oman has been ordered to deploy to the area where the vessels were seized, the ministry said.

Spokesman for the Saudi-led Arab coalition Colonel Turki al-Maliki condemned on Monday the seizure of the ship as a “terrorist operation” that posed a threat to the freedom of international navigation and world trade.

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