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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

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