Friday, March 23, 2007

Iran captures 15 British Sailors

Breaking news out of Iraq - Iran captured 15 British sailors on routine patrol of Iraqi waters....

Reports from the BBC -

Fifteen British Navy personnel have been captured at gunpoint by Iranian forces, the Ministry of Defence says.

The men were seized at 1030 local time when they boarded a boat in the Gulf, off the coast of Iraq, which they suspected was smuggling cars. The Royal Navy said the men, who were on a routine patrol in Iraqi waters, were understood to be unharmed.

The Foreign Office has demanded the immediate and safe return of the men, who are based on HMS Cornwall.

The frigate's commander, Commodore Nick Lambert, said he was hoping there had been a "simple mistake" over territorial waters.

"There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they [British personnel] were in Iraqi territorial waters. Equally, the Iranians may claim they were in Iranian territorial waters. More.....

Al Jazeera writes......

File photo of British marines in patrol boats operating in the Shatt al Arab waterway [EPA]
Fifteen British Royal Navy sailors have been seized by Iranian navy vessels, officials from the UK's ministry of defence (MoD) have said.

The MoD said it was "urgently" seeking clarification from Tehran regarding Friday's incident and said it had summoned Iran's ambassador in London.

Iran's official reaction is awaited.

"At approximately 10:30 Iraqi time this morning, 15 British naval personnel, engaged in routine boarding operations of merchant shipping in Iraqi territorial waters ... were seized by Iranian naval vessels," the MoD said in a statement.

"The British government is demanding the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment."

The Britons were in two inflatable boats from the frigate HMS Cornwall during a "routine smuggling investigation" when they were seized, the US defence deparment said. No US military personnel were detained.

The abduction of the British servicemen came as the UN Security Council prepared to vote on new sanctions aimed at forcing Tehran to curb its nuclear programme. More.....

Yahoo News prints.....

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - Iranian naval vessels on Friday seized 15 British sailors and marines who had boarded a merchant ship in Iraqi waters of the Persian Gulf, British and U.S. officials said. Britain immediately protested the detentions, which come at a time of high tension between the West and Iran.

In London, the British government summoned the Iranian ambassador to the Foreign Office and demanded "the immediate and safe return of our people and equipment." Iran had no immediate comment.

The U.S. Navy' which operates off the Iraqi coast along with British forces, said the British sailors appeared unharmed and that Iran's Revolutionary Guard naval forces were responsible. More.....

No comments:

Post a Comment

Don't be scared!