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A U.S. Navy vessel in the 5th Fleet discovered over 1,000 AK-47 rifles aboard a ship off the coast of Yemen last week.

AK-47 Rifles Discovered

Guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham (DDG 109) was traversing the Gulf of Aden on Aug. 27 when it happened upon a dhow “transferring covered packages” to a skiff, the presser says. The Dunham boarded the skiff and conducted a flag verification, in accordance with international law. It was discovered that the skiff was stateless. In addition, the skiff had non-working engines.

A crew from the Dunham subsequently found a stockpile of over 1,000 AK-47 rifles on the skiff. A group of mariners were also discovered aboard the skiff. Those mariners were taken aboard the Dunham for evaluation and were found to be uninjured. They’ve been transferred over to the Yemeni Coast Guard.

“Our ship routinely conducts maritime security operations with our highly-trained VBSS team incorporating both on and off ship intelligence assets to help locate vessels,” said Cmdr. John Hamilton, the Dunham’s commanding officer. “Ensuring the free flow of commerce for legitimate traffic and securing the sea lanes of communication continue to be paramount to the U.S. Navy and its regional partners and allies, and I am proud of Jason Dunham’s Sailors for accomplishing the mission.”

The Navy says the “original source” of the AK-47 rifles remains unknown. The weapons are in U.S. custody “awaiting final disposition,” according to the press release.

Check out the photos of the seized AK-47 rifles above.

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