Yemen Coast Guard Stops Ship Carrying Rockets

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Yemeni coast guard in coordination with the U.S. navy stopped a ship last week in the Arabian sea loaded with rockets and explosives, the interior ministry said on Tuesday.

The coast guard boarded the vessel, operated by Yemeni crew, in the territorial waters of the south Arabian Peninsula country and found on it a cache of weapons, including shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles and rocket-propelled-grenades, the ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency Saba.

It said the weapons also included bomb making equipment and other explosives.

The ministry said the authorities were still questioning the crew to establish the source and destination of the arms, pointing out that the ship was flying several fake flags.

Yemen, an impoverished country, is awash with weapons where powerful tribes are heavily armed, and carrying personal arms is part of the tradition.

The country is also home to Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, seen as the most dangerous branch of the jihadist network.

The extremist group remains active in several parts of Yemen despite repeated military offensives and U.S. drone attacks.

The U.S. Navy operates in the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Aden as part of the international force patrolling the area to combat maritime piracy.

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