'Iranian arms ship destroyed near Sudan'

Egyptian report says arms vessel headed for Gaza attacked by US or Israel, all crew members killed.

iranian ship to gaza 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
iranian ship to gaza 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
An Iranian vessel loaded with weapons to transfer to Hamas via Sudan was recently sunk in the Red Sea by an unidentified missile ship believed to be Israeli, according to Arab media. The vessel was attacked by either an Israeli or American ship and destroyed, according to a report Sunday in the Egyptian weekly Al-Usbua. "The ship was destroyed at sea near the Sudanese coast," sources told the weekly, adding that the cargo was to be taken through the Sudanese and Sinai deserts. They said the incident occurred within the past two weeks. The unidentified ship that fired missiles at the Iranian boat was "likely an Israeli" one, according to an Egyptian security source quoted on Saturday in the Amman-based weekly Fact International. The Iranian vessel was completely sunk and all personnel on it were killed, an event "expected to lead to further tension in Israeli-Iranian relations," the paper said. Last month, Sudan said it believed that Israel carried out air strikes on its soil in February that targeted weapons smugglers. While Israeli spokespeople did not comment on allegations of the country's involvement, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert hinted that Israel carried out the strikes, vowing that it would hit terrorist infrastructure wherever it was. Sudanese sources said that one of these strikes destroyed an Iranian ship, possibly on its way to Sudan.