Israeli troops seized a foreign cargo ship off Haifa after an “unlisted passenger” began a rampage on board and attempted to set the vessel ablaze. The suspect has been arrested.
The Panama-flagged container ship MSC Canberra had been anchored off a few kilometers away from Israels northern port of Haifa since Saturday afternoon. The vessel sailed from Mersin, Turkey and was scheduled to enter Haifa on Monday.
Around 3am local time the port administration received a distress call saying that one of the ships passengers began “rampaging” and breaking things on board, Israeli media reported.
According to IDF: Overnight a report was received from a foreign cargo ship anchored off northern Israel.
— Seth Frantzman (@sfrantzman) June 9, 2019
The ship later sent another distress call alerting that a fire was started on board by “unidentified elements,” the military said. The IDF then moved out to quickly seize the embattled vessel with the coordination of its captain.
When the soldiers boarded the ship, they apprehended an “unlisted passenger,” who was handed over to police, according to the IDF. The army did not immediately reveal who the suspect was. Public broadcaster KAN, meanwhile, said that two suspects have been arrested in relation to the incident. The vessel itself was towed to shore.
A video shared on Twitter by news-scouring group Aurora Intel allegedly shows Israeli speed boats approaching the cargo ship. A handcuffed man, wearing khaki pants and a blue life vest, can be seen being escorted to the shore. Both the mans face and the ships hull are blurred.
There were no reports of casualties or injuries during the operation, and the amount of damage sustained by the ship is unclear.
The incident is believed to be criminal, not terror-related.
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