SANAA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Coastguard Forces seized a cargo ship laden with arms while it was leaving the southern province of Abyan, the official Saba news agency reported on Tuesday.
"The Yemeni coast guards in cooperation with the U.S. Navy forces in the Arab Sea intercepted last Wednesday a small cargo boat carrying a large amount of weapons," Saba quoted a spokesman of the Yemeni Interior Ministry as saying.
"The weapons include anti-aircraft missiles, anti-tank C-4 Explosives, 122MM mortar launchers, rocket-propelled grenades (RPG) , land mines and anti-vehicle magnetic bombs," said the unnamed spokesman.
"Eight Yemeni sailors onboard the ship were under investigation to find out the source and the destination of the arms," he said.
The impoverished Arab country, which is already awash of 60 million weapons, is struggling to restore security amid rising of al-Qaida militants and southern separatist movement in the south, as well as a Shiite rebellion in the north, after street protests forced long-time former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in February 2012.
The cash-stripped interim government has been trying to persuade the rival political forces to participate in a reconciliation dialogue to pave way for new constitution and parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014 as part of a UN- backed power transfer deal.
However, considering security situation, shortage of financial funds and growing demands of seceding the south from the north after more than 20 years of unity, the national dialogue has been delayed three months behind schedule.