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Iran Frees Nine Crew from Seized Panama-Flagged Tanker

Reuters

Iran has freed nine out of 12 Indian crew members from a Panama-flagged tanker seized almost two weeks ago in the Strait of Hormuz, India's foreign ministry has said, Al-Jazeera reports.

Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar said on Friday those released "will be on their way to India soon".

"Our mission in Iran has requested the concerned Iranian authorities for the release of remaining crew members," he was quoted as saying by AFP news agency.

Iran had accused the vessel, the MT Riah, of smuggling contraband fuel when it was detained in mid-July amid rising tensions between Iran and the United States in the strategically important Strait of Hormuz, the world's most important oil artery.

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