A water border dispute led to a brief engagement between patrol boats of the UAE and Saudi vessels.
Gunfire was exchanged:
The United Arab Emirates navy is thought to have opened fire on a small patrol vessel from Saudi Arabia after a dispute over water boundaries.
According to one report, two Saudi sailors were injured in the alleged bombardment.
The Saudi vessel was forced to surrender, and its sailors were delivered into custody in Abu Dhabi for several days, before being released and handed over to the Saudi embassy earlier this week.
The disputed border is a heated issue due to energy resources in the seabed. The intensity of the engagement has shocked diplomats in the region:
“It looks as though attempts were made to keep this quiet, which is predictable given the important relationship between the two countries and the strategic relationship with Iran,” a Gulf-based diplomat said. “But it does remind us of the simmering rows that there are in this part of the Gulf.”
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