Seoul/Sputnik/UNI: South Korean Foreign Ministry confirmed that two of its citizens are among the 16 people captured by Houthi rebels in the Red Sea, media reported Tuesday.
Reports surfaced Monday that Houthi rebels seized a ship carrying a drilling rig belonging to South Korea over the weekend. The ship was said to be sailing from Saudi Arabia, which has been carrying out attacks against the Houthis since 2015, to Somalia.
South Korean state-run Yonhap News Agency cited officials at the nation’s foreign ministry as confirming that a total of 16 people in three ships have been captured. All of them have been confirmed safe, according to the agency.
Houthi authorities had earlier stated that the ship would be released if confirmed to be South Korean, according to media reports.
Yemen has been locked in a conflict between the government forces led by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and the Houthi rebels. A Saudi-led coalition has been conducting strikes against the Houthis at Hadi's request since March 2015.
In September, Houthis claimed responsibility for strikes against major Saudi oil facilities Abqaiq and Khurais, temporarily slashing the kingdom’s oil production in half and leading to a 5 percent dip in world oil output.