SANAA (AFP) – At least two Yemeni fishermen were killed and another was wounded as an international anti-piracy warship fired at their boat in the Red Sea, Yemen’s state news agency Saba said on Wednesday.
The boat with four fishermen on board was completely destroyed in the missile strike off Sudan on Tuesday, it said, adding that the wounded man reached the Sudanese coast while a fourth was still missing.
Sources in the Yemeni navy said the missile “probably came from sea by one of those warships conducting anti-piracy patrols in the region,” Saba said.
It also quoted local officials in Yemen as saying that the boat was in Sudanese territorial waters, adding that Sudanese authorities were questioning the survivor.
International naval forces have been deployed in the Gulf of Aden to combat piracy attacks off Somalia. It was not clear what flag the warship was flying.
Saba noted that two other Yemeni fishermen had been killed earlier this year in separate attacks in the Indian Ocean believed to have been the work of naval units taking part in anti-piracy operations.
According to the International Maritime Bureau, pirate attacks off Somalia in the first quarter of this year surged tenfold to 61 compared with the same period in 2008, when six attacks occurred.
A total of 114 attempted attacks have been staged since the start of the year and pirates have seized 29 ships.