Saudi Arabia captures three IRGC members

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By Zachary Shahan

Saudi Arabia announced on Monday it has seized a boat, loaded with weapons, heading towards Saudi oil field of Marjan, China's Xinhua news agency reported.

Aghababie said on Monday that a Saudi claim the boats entered the kingdom's waters had not been proven.

"The three captured members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are now being questioned by Saudi authorities", it said, citing a Saudi official.

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The military said sailors fired warning shots and captured one of the boats while two others escaped in the assault Friday. The other two escaped. The seized boat contained a stash of "weapons for subversive purpose" and had three men onboard. The head of border affairs at the Iranian interior ministry, Majid Aghababaie, said that the three people detained were fishermen from the southern Iranian port of Bushehr.

The Saudi statement came three days after it said the incident occurred in the Marjan oil field, and two days after Iran accused the Saudis of shooting one of its fishermen in the Gulf waters which divide their two countries.

Relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which compete for influence in the Middle East, have been increasingly strained over the opposite sides they have taken in the Syria and Yemen conflicts. It said the boat was allegedly one of two Iranian boats fishing in the Gulf that had been pushed off course by waves.

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The Foreign Ministry spokesman said the Saudi coast guard's move to shoot and kill an Iranian fisherman was illegal and devoid of any justification. Riyadh has denied involvement in the attacks.

As such, relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran are at a low point.

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