Iranian ship in Suez Canal (archives)
Photo: AFP
Report: Egypt seizes Iranian weapons ship near Sinai
Egyptian Navy seizes ship in Red Sea carrying 60,000 firearms: sniper-rifles, AK-47s, RPGs, vast amounts of ammo. Turkish report says ship is Iranian

The Egyptian navy seized a vessel carrying a large arms shipment near the Sinai Peninsula's southern coast in the red sea, Arab news outlets reported on Thursday.


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The Anatolia Turkish News Agency reported the ship is an Iranian fishing vessel named "Sawit 1," adding that it was captured Wednesday night, 12 miles off shore.


On board were 10 people of different nationalities, said the Turkish report, which further stated that preliminary investigations revealed the ship was sailing toward Egyptian territory.


In the ship's hold 62,283 firearms were found, including sniper-rifles, AK-47s, RPGs and large quantities of ammunition.


Egyptian media reports claim the ship is a trading vessel sailing from the Eilat port to one of the African states.


These reports also stated that the ship suffered a mechanical failure and was towed by the Egyptian navy to a nearby port when a search found the munitions. 


The Egyptian Almasri Alyoum newspaper wrote that the ship was sailing under a Togo flag, staying in international waters for a week when the Egyptian navy noticed it entered Egypt's territorial waters.


The report further said an investigation was launched to discover the ship's course and the intended recipient of the arms onboard.



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