The US Navy seized hundreds of small arms including AK-47s from a boat in the Gulf of Aden on Tuesday, according to a defense official.
The vessel, which was unflagged, was described as a dhow, a small sailboat that is common to the region. The official added that the number of weapons seized could exceed 1,000.
The boarding was carried out by the crew of the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Jason Dunham, which was participating in a US Naval Forces Central Command operation.
The dhow's crew allowed the US Navy to board upon its request.
The official said the boarded vessel's destination was unclear, though US officials have said that ships intercepted in this area in the past have been linked to Iranian efforts to support Houthi rebels in Yemen.
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