1st LD-Writethru: Yemeni Houthis say will release seized ship if it belongs to South Korea

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SANAA/RIYADH, Nov. 18 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthi rebels on Monday said they will release captured vessel if it belongs to South Korea, but after legal procedures.

"Our forces are inspecting the seized ship to make sure if it belongs to the countries of aggression (Saudi-led coalition) or to South Korea ... we will release the ship along with its crew if it belongs to South Korea," Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of the Houthi revolutionary committee, said on Twitter.

Earlier on Monday, the Yemeni government said a South Korean ship along with two boats were captured by Houthi rebels off the Red Sea Yemeni island of Kamaran, according to the state Saba news agency.

Also, the Saudi-led coalition involved in a war in Yemen accused the Houthi militia of hijacking a vessel south the Red Sea.

"The incident was reported on Sunday evening and targeted Rabigh 3 vessel that was towing a drilling rig owned by a South Korean company," the Saudi Press Agency quoted Col. Turki Al Maliki, the spokesman for the coalition, as saying in a statement.

Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 after the Houthi rebels overran the capital Sanaa and forced the internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile. Enditem

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