Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Cyprus searches ship suspected of trying to smuggle arms from Iran to the Gaza Strip.

It said it had given the UN a report after two inspections of the vessel, which is now anchored off the port of Limassol amid tight policy security.

Cyprus said the issue was "sensitive" and gave no details about the cargo.

Suspicions that the ship was carrying arms from Iran to Hamas in Gaza were reportedly raised by the US military.

Some reports say the US military boarded the Cyprus-flagged Monchegorsk cargo ship in the Red Sea last month, but could not legally detain it or seize its cargo.

The ship then sailed to Egypt's Port Said, before arriving in Cyprus last week.

In December, Israel launched a three-week offensive against the Hamas-run Gaza, attempting to end rocket attack by the militants on southern Israeli towns.