US sailors held by Iran expected to be released soon

2016-01-13 10:16
Riverine Command Boat. (Torrey W Lee, AP)

Riverine Command Boat. (Torrey W Lee, AP)

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Washington - Ten US Navy sailors taken into custody by Iran after their two small boats drifted into Iranian waters are expected to be released as early as Wednesday morning local time.

American officials said late on Tuesday that Tehran had assured them the crew and vessels would be returned safely and promptly.

Meanwhile, the Navy chief of the powerful Iranian Revolutionary Guard said the American boats showed "unprofessional acts" for 40 minutes before being picked up by Iranian forces after entering the country's territorial waters.

The navy chief, General Ali Fadavi confirmed on state TV on Wednesday that the Guard was holding the crew and their two small boats.

The detainees included nine men and one woman, who were being held overnight at an Iranian base on Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf. They were expected to be transferred Wednesday to a US ship in the region.

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