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Ship off Yemen coast reports explosion nearby, says UKMTO

June 24, 2024 at 8:59 pm

This picture taken on February 27, 2024 shows the Rubymar cargo ship sinking off the coast of Yemen. [AFP via Getty Images]

A merchant vessel in the Arabian Sea reported an explosion in close proximity to it on Monday, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said, Reuters reports.

UKMTO said the crew was reported safe and the vessel was proceeding to its next port of call.

The Red Sea and Gulf of Aden Joint Maritime Information Centre (JMIC) later identified the vessel as Liberian-flagged container “MSC SARAH V”, saying it was attacked by a missile while navigating the Arabian Sea but was not hit. The ship was sailing 246 nautical miles south-east of Yemen’s Nishtun.

The ship reported a missile landing in the water approximately 50 meters off the starboard side of the ship, JMIC said.

“The vessel was likely attacked due to perceived Israeli association,” JMIC’s note added.

Yemen’s Houthi group has been launching drone and missile strikes in shipping lanes since November, saying that it acts in solidarity with Palestinians in Israel’s war in Gaza.

In dozens of attacks, the Houthis have sunk two vessels, seized another and killed at least three seafarers.

There was no immediate comment from the Houthis.

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