Friday, March 23, 2007

Iranian Act of War?

News is breaking that Iranian forces have effectively kidnapped 15 British Navy sailors and marines. The personnel were operating in Iraqi waters carrying out a routine patrol. They boarded a ship suspected of smuggling cars when they were seized at gunpoint. We'll try and keep you updated.

UPDATE: A statement from the MoD:

The group boarding party had completed a successful inspection of a merchant ship when they and their two boats were surrounded and escorted by Iranian vessels into Iranian territorial waters.

Forcing them into Iranian waters sounds like a kidnapping.

UPDATE: Some BBC reporters are treating this as a kidnapping. The BBC news website quotes Commodore Nick Lambert as saying, "I hope we find this is a simple misunderstanding at the tactical level."

Meanwhile, over at MPACUK forums we have two members expressing their desire that these sailors not be freed but rather used as human shields!