Twin blasts reported near ship off Yemen

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A vessel passing through the Gulf of Aden reported twin blasts off its bow on Friday, UK Maritime Trade Operations said, in the latest attack to target shipping off Yemen.

“The master reports two explosions ahead of the vessel. The vessel and crew are reported as safe,” the agency said. “Vessels are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity to UKMTO.”

The agency said the blasts were reported some 50 nautical miles south-southeast of the government-controlled Yemeni port city of Aden.

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There was no immediate claim of responsibility for any attack, but Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and much of the country’s Red Sea coast, have mounted a campaign of attacks since November against vessels it deems to be abetting the Israeli war effort in Gaza.

The Houthis have since broadened their attacks to include warships and commercial vessels linked to Britain and the United States after the two countries carried out air strikes against suspected launchpads for the attacks in Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen.

The attacks have sent insurance costs spiraling for vessels plying the key trade route and prompted many shipping firms to take the far longer route around the southern tip of Africa instead.

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But up to Wednesday, when an anti-ship missile hit the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier MV True Confidence, killing three of its crew, the attacks had caused no major casualties.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) posted on X that it conducted “self-defense strikes” on Thursday against four Houthi anti-ship missiles and a drone in Houthi-held areas of Yemen.

It also said CENTCOM forces downed three drones fired from Houthi-held areas towards the Gulf of Aden.

With AFP

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