The Israeli military has admitted that it intercepted an international aid ship en route to the Gaza Strip in neutral waters in the Mediterranean Sea.
Israeli commandos stormed the Turkish-flagged vessel with hundreds of human rights activists on Monday, killing at least 10.
"It happened in international waters, we confirm this," an Israeli Army spokesman told RIA Novosti, adding: "We did it there because we did not know what was happening on the ships and suspected there were explosives and other weapons on board."
In all, there were six vessels in the flotilla heading for the Gaza Strip to deliver humanitarian aid.
Israel has confiscated the vessel and is escorting it to the port of Ashdod, and will deport the activists on board, and send the humanitarian aid by land once it has been inspected.
The international community, presidential administrations and other leaders also strongly condemned the attack calling for an end to the Gaza blockade.
Arab media said 16 people were killed and more than 30 injured when the Israeli military stormed the six-ship Freedom Flotilla carrying some 10,000 tons of aid to Gaza and 600 human rights activists earlier on Monday.
Media said that Turkish, U.S., British, Australian, Greek, Canadian, Malaysian, Algerian, Serbian, Belgian, Irish, Norwegian, Swedish and German citizens were on board of the vessels.
The Israeli Army's press service confirmed the deaths of more than 10 people, adding that four Israeli commandos had been injured in the attack.
Israel, which has enforced an almost constant blockade against Gaza since the radical Islamic group Hamas took control of the enclave in summer 2007, earlier called the mission a "provocation" and threatened to intercept the ships and deport those onboard.
TEL AVIV, May 31 (RIA Novosti)