An Israeli naval patrol Saturday intercepted a boat off the southern port city of Sidon and detained six Arab passengers, security sources said.

The Israeli gunboat seized the small passenger ship while the vessel was en route from Cyprus to the main harbor in Sidon, 24 miles south of Beirut, the officials said.Israel had no immediate word on the report.

Israeli Navy personnel took six passengers, four Palestinians and two Lebanese, to Israel after ordering them on loudspeakers to swim in the cold Mediterranean waters towards the military vessel, the sources said.