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Yemen seizes 20,000 illegal Turkey-made guns

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-05 05:01

SANAA - Yemen's Defense Ministry said Saturday that it has seized a boat carrying 20,000 Turkey-made guns in Yemen's coastal regions.

In a statement posted on its website, the ministry said the boat was seized on Thursday after soldiers of the Yemeni 17th Infantry Brigade stationing in Bab el-Mandeb strait clashed with the armed crew members on the boat in the Red Sea coastal area that belongs to the southwestern Taiz province.

"The soldiers managed to capture the boat's captain after gunfight, while other crew members fled," the 17th Infantry Brigade commander, Saleh Miseed Subary, was quoted by the ministry as saying.

One soldier was injured in his right leg during shooting, he said.

It was the fourth cargo loaded with Turkey-made arms that was seized by Yemen in half a year.

In February this year and November of last year, two cargos carrying illegal Turkey-made weapons were seized respectively in the southern port city of Aden; and in December 2012, a cargo of 7, 000 Turkey-made guns was captured in the Red Sea port of al- Hodayda.

The Yemeni government did not mention who are responsible for smuggling arms into the country, but said investigations are underway.

The improvised Arab country, already awash of roughly 60 million pieces of weapons, is struggling to resolve a Shiite rebellion in the north and a growing secessionist movement in the south, and to combat an active regional network of al-Qaida wing based in its southeastern regions.

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