Pirates attack oil tanker near Bab al-Mandab

LNG tanker Melati-satu (Youtube screebgrab)

A major pirate attack on an oil tanker has been reported on Wednesday while it was transiting the Bab al-Mandab Strait en route from Ukraine to India, coalition spokesman Major General Ahmed Assiri exclusively confirmed to AlArabiya.net.

The pirates fired a rocket-propelled grenade at LNG tanker Melati Satu, Assiri told AlArabiya.net.

The crew of the Tuvalu-registered tanker sent a distress call that was received by a UAE ship and passed it to the Saudi Arabian naval ship Majesty Riyadh.

Majesty Riyadh immediately headed to the site of the attack and was able to save the Melati Satu. It then accompanied Melati Satu until it safely transited Bab al-Mandab.

Ahmed Assiri AFP

Ahmed Assiri AFP

Assiri mentioned that the incident highlights the importance of the restoration of peace on the Yemeni side of Bab al-Mandab so ships can properly transit this vital international trade route.

He also noted that it shows how important it is that the Houthi rebels and their allies take immediate steps to implement the United Nations Security Council resolution 2216, which will lead to the resolution of the Yemeni conflict.

Last Update: Thursday, 27 October 2016 KSA 11:13 - GMT 08:13