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Yemen: container ship reportedly targeted with missiles, says security firm

April 29, 2024 at 1:12 pm

This handout photo provided by Yemeni Al-Joumhouria TV, shows the British-registered cargo ship ‘Rubymar’ sinking, after it was targeted by Yemen’s Houthi forces in international waters in the Red Sea, on March 3, 2024 [Al-Joumhouriah channel via Getty Images]

A Malta-flagged container ship has reportedly been targeted by three missiles 54 nautical miles north-west of Yemen’s Red Sea port of Mokha while en route from Djibouti to the Saudi city of Jeddah, British maritime security firm Ambrey said on Monday.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said it was informed by the Company Security Officer of an explosion in close proximity to a merchant vessel, Reuters has reported. UKMTO added that the vessel and its crew were safe and the relevant authorities are investigating the incident.

The Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen has repeatedly launched drones and missiles against international commercial shipping in the Red Sea region since mid-November, saying that it is acting in solidarity with Palestinians against Israel’s military offensive in Gaza. Ambrey assessed that the vessel was targeted due to its listed operator’s ongoing trade with Israel.

Houthi attacks in the Red Sea region have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to take longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa. The United States and Britain have carried out air strikes against Houthi targets in response.

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