Sat, 07 Dec 2019

Seoul [South Korea], Nov 20 (ANI): Yemen's Houthi rebels have released the three ships and their crew, comprising a total of 16 people, including two South Korean nationals, South Korea's foreign ministry said on Wednesday.

The two South Korean citizens, whose identities were not revealed are safe and their families have been informed of their release, Yonhap News Agency reported quoting the ministry.

The three boats -- two South Korean vessels and a Saudi vessel -- were hijacked by the Houthis on Monday for allegedly violating their territorial waters about 15 miles (approx 24.1 kilometres) west of Yemen's Kamaran Island.

The two South Koreans were aboard a tugboat and a drilling rig belonging to Woongjin Development Co, a South Korean company. The third ship was a Saudi vessel that is chartered by a company of the United Arab Emirates, according to the foreign ministry.

The twin South Korean boats will leave for Jizan in Saudi Arabia around noon and are slated to arrive in two days, the ministry said.

The three vessels were on their way to Berbera port in Somalia after departing from Jizan when Houthis seized them. The rebels took the ships to Salif port in Hodeidah in Yemen.

South Korean officials got the news about the hijack after one of its nationals sent a social media message to their company. Following this, the government deployed its anti-piracy Cheonghae Unit that was operating off the Somalian coast to rescue the two persons. (ANI)

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