Twenty four civilians were onboard UAE vessel HSV-2 Swift when it was attacked off the coast of Yemen last weekend, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said.
In a statement carried by news agency WAM, the ministry said the Swift was carrying wounded Yemenis and passengers when it was targeted by Houthi militia.
The ministry said the ship was unarmed and was “passing through the Bab al Mandab Strait like any other civilian and commercial ships”.
It has been conducting routine trips to Aden for one year and its crew members are civilians, the ministry said. It was not stated how badly damaged the vessel was.
Onboard were 10 Indians, seven Ukrainians, four Egyptians, one crew member from Jordan, one from the Philippines and one from Lithuania. The injured are being treated in UAE hospitals.
WAM quoted the ministry as saying the Houthi militias “know very well that the civilian ship was dedicated for humanitarian missions” and not military missions.
The United States is among those to condemn the strike. Dubai Police have arrested two men suspected of smuggling and intending to deal 4.8kg of heroin. General Khalil Ibrahim Al Mansouri, Assistant Chief of Dubai Police for Criminal Investigations, said the men were caught with the drugs in their backpacks. Al Mansouri said: “They were smuggling the heroin in capsules to the country and then selling it among young residents and Emiratis.” Colonel Eid Mohammed Harib, Head of the Anti- Narcotic Department in Dubai Police, said the first suspect, 28, was arrested at a labour camp. Harib said: “He tried to escape and resisted the arrest but we arrested him. “Then we arrested his countryman who works as a salesman for a private company.” The 36-yearold was arrested near a mall in Abu Dhabi. They had 572 capsules containing the drug. The pair were referred to Dubai Public Prosecution to face possession and smuggling charges.
UNLOADING: Personnel from the Swift are pictured unloading goods in this archive picture taken prior to the attack