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Middle East
Iran to send aid ships to Gaza
Two ships carrying aid to the Gaza Strip will try to breach Israel's blockade in coming week.
Last Modified: 15 Jun 2010 09:07 GMT
A flotilla of ships trying to break the blockade of Gaza was stopped by Israel last month [EPA]

Iranian ships carrying aid supplies are due to set sail for Gaza in the coming week, Iran's state news agency has reported.

The move is likely to further heighten tensions in the region.

Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency said the first ship carrying humanitarian aid will leave the port of Khorramshahr this week, heading towards Gaza.

"This ship will pass through territorial waters of Oman, Yemen and Egypt before it reaches Gaza. It is said that the ship contains only humanitarian aid and there are no peace activists on board, " the agency said.

A second vessel will be sent at a later date from the Turkish city of Istanbul to Gaza.

In January 2009, an Israeli warship approached an Iranian aid boat heading for the Mediterranean territory and told it to leave the area, 70kms from Gaza.

IN DEPTH

The ship went on to Egypt, which borders Gaza, but was refused permission to unload.

A Turkish flotilla of ships trying to break Israel's blockade of Gaza was stopped by Israeli naval vessels on May 31 and nine activists on one of the ships were killed when the Israeli military boarded it and gunfire broke out.

Israel says its troops were attacked with knives, metal poles and other objects.

Source:
Agencies
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