Seven Indians Missing After Saudi Airstrikes on Boats in Yemen

© AFP 2022 / FAYEZ NURELDINE Jet fighters of the Saudi Royal air force
Jet fighters of the Saudi Royal air force - Sputnik International
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Seven Indian crew members of two boats that were hit during Saudi airstrikes in Yemen are still missing while another 13 have been reported alive, the Indian External Affairs spokesman said Wednesday.

NEW DELHI (Sputnik) – Media reports emerged late on Tuesday, claiming that 20 Indian nationals on board two boats had been killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes over the western Yemeni port of Hudaydah.

"The boats came under aerial bombardment in the afternoon of 8 September. The boats were carrying a total of 20 Indian crew members of which 13 are alive and 7 are reported missing," Vikas Swarup said in a statement.

The foreign ministry spokesman said Indian diplomats in neighboring Djibouti were able to learn from local authorities that the two boats had been sailing between the Yemeni port of Mocha and the port of Berbera in Somalia.

A jet takes off to participate in the Saudi-led air strikes on Yemen, at an airbase in an undisclosed location in Saudi Arabia in this April 2, 2015 picture provided by Saudi Press Agency. Picture taken April 2, 2015 - Sputnik International
Saudi-Led Coalition Attack Kills Indian Nationals in Western Yemen
Swarup said additional information would be available once embassy officials in Djibouti had met with the boats' owner later on Wednesday.

The identities of the 20 Indian nationals are currently being established.

India closed its embassy in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in April, less than a month after the Saudi-led coalition launched airstrikes on Houthi targets in Yemen. The strikes were requested by the exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

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