NEW DELHI: At least seven Indians are reported missing in the airstrike by Saudi-led coalition forces on a boat which attempted to break the blockade on Yemeni ports on Tuesday.
Initial media reports based on local sources in Yemen had first said that about 20 indians had died in the attack on the boat, which took place on Tuesday morning.
The Indian embassy officials managed to contact local residents and managed to piece together a more coherent picture.
“Indian Embassy officials in Djbouti are in touch with local contacts and we have ascertained that there were two boats one of which was plying between Berbera (Somalia) and Mokha (Yemen),” said MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup on Wednesday. Mokha is about 150 kilometres from Hudaydah port, which is the second most important port of the strategically-located Gulf nation.
The Indian mission had relocated to Djibouti at the end of the massive operation to evacuate Indian nationals in April.
“The boats were carrying a total of 20 Indian crew members of which 13 are alive and 7 are reported missing,” said the spokesperson.
However, there were no additional information with a meeting with the boat owner expected to bring more clarity to the situation.
Meanwhile, Yemen Post, an online newspaper, posted on its twitter account that they were four survivors who were being treated for burn injuries.
As per local sources, the boat was smuggling diesel, as Yemen is facing severe fuel shortage due to the port blockade imposed by the Saudi-led gulf coalition who are fighting against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.