Cargo ship attacked off Yemen's coast

Report comes days after a vessel docked in Saudi Arabia was rocked by an explosion

(FILES) This handout file photo courtesy of US Navy shows the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz and the guided-missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea in formation during a Strait of Hormuz transit on September 18, 2020. The Nimitz and its carrier group has moved back into the Gulf region, bu tnaval commander Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the US 5th Fleet, told AFP on November 28, 2020, the return of the carrier group on November 25 was not connected to any "specific threats," after the killing in Iran of a top nuclear scientist. Tensions in the region are extraordinarily high after the assassination November 27 of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, an act still unclaimed, but which Iran has blamed on close US ally Israel. - RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / US NAVY /  Petty Officer 3rd Class Elliot Schaudt" - NO MARKETING - NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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A ship was attacked off the coast of Yemen, according to United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which cited reports from vessels in the vicinity

The agency said it was made aware of an attack on a merchant ship on Friday.

The incident came days after an explosion rocked an oil tanker docked at a port in Saudi Arabia.

On Saturday, UKMTO said the crew and vessel in the Yemen incident were safe.

The Gulf of Aden is a crucial route for global trade and was until recently vulnerable to Somali pirate attacks.

The ship went to  Yemeni port city of Nishtun after it was attacked.

Ambrey, a British private maritime intelligence firm, identified the vessel as the Sierra Leone flagged MV Hasan, a cargo ship bound for Salalah in Oman.

The Hasan is registered to Oasis Shipping, a Marshall Islands firm with an address linking it to a Beirut address for Barhoum Maritime.

The US Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, which patrols Middle Eastern waterways, said it was aware of the incident but declined to comment further.

No group claimed responsibility for the attack.

In November, a mine in the Red Sea off Saudi Arabia's coast near Yemen exploded and damaged an oil tanker.

The Greek-operated vessel was docked at Shuqaiq in Saudi Arabia.

Suspicion fell on Yemen's Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who hold the capital, Sanaa, and have been identified by United Nations analysts as using sea mines in the conflict.

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