Basra (IraqiNews.com) Iraq has decided to withhold a foreign ship within its territorial waters after it hit an Iraqi ship earlier this week, killing at least four.
The Iraqi seaports company said Wednesday it prevented Royal Arsenal, registered in Saint Vincent, from leaving Iraqi waters as per a verdict by a local court in the southern province of Basra after it hit al-Misbar, a state-owned support vessel, on Saturday at Khur Abdullah Bay, causing it to capsize with 21 crew members on board.
Riyad Sawadi, director of the General Company for Ports of Iraq, said the measure is temporary until investigations into the incident conclude.
Iraqi rescue teams had managed to save 10 sailors, while four were found dead.
According to the company, search is continuing for the rest of missing sailors at the scene of the collision.
Al-Misbar is a chinese-made vessel bought with a Japanese loan, according to Alsumaria News network, which also said ship collisions had been rare in the region, thanks to the absence of sunken vessels or mines, and the usually good weather conditions suitable for navigation. It said accidents over the past years had been blamed on mechanical glitches and vessel overloading.