India in touch with Iran for release of 17 sailors

July 4th, 2008 - 9:36 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 4 (IANS) The government Friday said it was in touch with Iran for the release of 17 Indians who were captured aboard four fishing boats from Saudi Arabia Thursday. “We are in touch with the Iranian government to get them released,” Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon told reporters Friday.

Iranian authorities seized four fishing boats from Saudi Arabia with 17 Indian crew on board in the Gulf waters near Bushehr nuclear power plant.

“Bushehr sea-guard patrols stopped four foreign fishing boats on the strength of border violation and illegal fishing on Iranian waters,” an Iranian news agency quoted Reza Mohmmadi-Yeganeh, the police commander of Bushehr province, as saying Thursday.

“The boats were from Saudi Arabia and had 17 Indian nationals on board,” he added.

The documents of the boats were confiscated and the vessels are being held in Bushehr’s naval police headquarters in southern Iran, he added.

The boats were seized around 30 nautical miles from the Bushehr nuclear plant, off Iran’s coast.

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