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DOHA: Qatar accused Bahrain on Tuesday of abusing a routine fisheries enforcement case to deepen a three month diplomatic crisis between the emirate and its Gulf neighbours. “The State of Qatar condemned the statement issued by the Bahraini interior ministry on the detention of 15 Bahraini boats carrying 20 sailors, describing it as a desperate attempt to escalate the ongoing diplomatic dispute,” the official QNA news agency reported.
An interior ministry official said the 15 Bahraini fishing boats seized by the Qatari coastguard, most of them over the past three days, had been operating illegally in the emirate’s waters and had been held under routine procedures.
The 20 fishermen on board would be released within the next three days while the courts would decide what happened to the boats. (AFP)