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DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain accused Qatar on Monday of illegally seizing three boats with 16 sailors on board, state news agency BNA reported, worsening an already deeply troubled diplomatic situation in the region.

Coast Guard Commander Commodore Alaa Siyadi told BNA the boats were seized over the past three days. The report gave no details on the nature of the boats or where they were seized.

Qatari officials said they were checking the report.

Siyadi said the seizure raised to 15 the number of boats seized, and the number of sailors in Qatari custody to 20, adding that some of the boat seizures date back to 2009, BNA reported.

Bahrain, together with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, imposed diplomatic, trade and travel sanctions on Qatar in June accusing it of supporting terrorism, something Doha denies.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba in Cairo; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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Reuters