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Mine explodes, damaging oil tanker off Saudi Arabia

Mine explodes, damaging oil tanker off Saudi Arabia

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A mine in the Red Sea off the coast of Saudi Arabia near Yemen exploded and damaged an oil tanker Wednesday, authorities said, the latest incident targeting the kingdom amid its long war against Yemen's Houthi rebels.

The blast happened early Wednesday and struck the MT Agrari, a Maltese-flagged, Greek-managed oil tanker near Shuqaiq, Saudi Arabia.

“Their vessel was attacked by an unknown source,” a statement from the Agrari's operators said. “The Agrari was struck about 1 meter above the waterline and has suffered a breach. It has been confirmed that the crew are safe and there have been no injuries.”

The ship was still floating off the coast and had been boarded by Saudi officials, the company said. Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

Ambrey, a British security firm, reported the blast and attributed it to a mine.

The explosion comes after a cruise missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels struck an oil facility in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-led coalition reported Tuesday that it removed and destroyed five Iranian-made naval mines planted by the Houthis in the southern Red Sea, condemning the attempted attacks as posing “a serious threat to maritime security in the Bab al-Mandab strait.”

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis since March 2015. Houthi military officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Associated Press writer Isabel DeBre contributed to this report.


Updated : 2021-02-26 01:32 GMT+08:00