At least seven Pakistani sailors are feared dead after an unidentified fighter jet reportedly hit their ship in Yemeni waters earlier this month. According to human rights activist Ansar Burney, motor vessel ‘Jouya 8’ – a general cargo ship registered in Iran – was reportedly targeted off the Hodeidah coast when it was en-route to Egypt from Dubai. A crew of eight, all of Pakistani origin, was onboard under the command of Captain Syed Anisur Rehman, reports the Express Tribune.
“One sailor, identified as Kabir Khadim, survived somehow by jumping off the ship and swimming to the Hodeidah port,” Burney said, adding that he was hospitalised and is being given medical care in the same city. He said another sailor Suhail Ahmed’s body is also at the same hospital. However, Khadim was unsure about the fate of the rest of the crew.
The date of the incident is not yet clear as the lone survivor, according to Burney, is in trauma and cannot recall how, where and when did this happen. However, Yemen’s state-owned Saba news agency reports that a boat carrying 12 Pakistani sailors was hit in a Saudi air raid off Mukha coast in the Yemeni province of Taez earlier on December 4. In this incident, six sailors were killed while as many others were still unaccounted for, the news agency reported.
Burney said since the incident was reported to him through his sources, he requested the Saudi, Iranian, Turkish and Russian governments to help find the missing sailors. He also appealed to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to take notice of the matter and ascertain the facts.