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Yemen rebels holding 11 crew of hijacked ship

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UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) — A ship hijacked by Yemeni rebels in the Red Sea has 11 crew on board from five countries, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) told the United Nations (UN) Security Council president on Monday.

Seven of the crew are Indian and the others come from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar and the Philippines, the UAE’s permanent representative, Lana Nusseibeh, said in a letter dated 9 January obtained by AFP.

It denounced the “act of piracy” against the UAE-flagged Rwabee, which the Huthi rebels seized on 2 January.

The Iran-backed rebels say they seized the Rwabee in Yemeni waters and have released video which they say shows military equipment on board.

Nusseibeh described the Rwabee as a “civilian cargo vessel” that was leased by a Saudi company and was carrying equipment used at a field hospital. It was traveling on an international route, she added.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen to support the internationally-recognized government in March 2015 after the Huthis captured the capital, Sanaa, the previous September.

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