Kuwait has seized an Iraqi vessel in its territorial waters and deported six fishermen who had been on board, the official KUNA news agency cited a top official as saying on Wednesday.

Assistant undersecretary for border security affairs major-general Mohammad Yussef Al-Sabah said the Iraqi fishermen were arrested seven nautical miles into Kuwaiti territorial waters. He did not say when the incident took place.

The fishermen were later handed over to Iraqi authorities, he added.

The incident prompted threats from the chairman of the Basra provincial council, Sabah al-Bazuni, who according to Kuwait’s official KUNA news agency warned that “force will be used if Kuwaiti coast guards repeat their attacks on Iraqi fishermen.”

Iraq’s fishermen have repeatedly complained of harassment by the Kuwaiti and Iranian coast guards, but Kuwait maintains that Iraqi fishermen are arrested only when they cross into territorial waters.

A Kuwaiti coast guard was killed in January last year in a shoot-out with Iraqi sailors inside the emirate’s territorial waters.

Iraqi authorities said three fishermen were wounded in the incident and four others went missing.

2012 Khaleej Times