Russian intelligence ship sinks off Turkey’s Black Sea coast

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A Russian naval intelligence ship sank off Turkey’s Black Sea coast on Thursday after colliding with a vessel carrying livestock and all 78 personnel on board the navy ship were evacuated, Turkish officials said.

The rescued crew members of the Russian ship Liman were in good health after the collision with the Togo-flagged Youzarsif H, Turkey’s Transport Minister Ahmed Arslan said.

The incident took place in fog and low visibility 18 miles (29 km) from Kilyos village on the Black Sea coast just north of Istanbul, reports Reuters.

Turkish authorities dispatched a tugboat and three fast rescue vessels, the coastal safety authority said.

Advisers to Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim conveyed his sadness over the incident to Russian counterparts, according to sources in his office.

Relations between the two countries have suffered from political disputes over the civil war in Syria, where Moscow and Ankara support different factions.

Russian warships frequently pass through the narrow Bophorus Strait, which cuts through Istanbul, on their way from the Black Sea to Syria’s Mediterranean coast.

A spokesman for Hammami Livestock which owns the Youzarsif H said there had been no loss of life on board the vessel. “It is considered a slight hit, for us,” he told Reuters in Lebanon, adding he had no information about the cause of the collision.

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