Oil tanker damaged off Saudi Arabia in mine explosion

Saudi coalition ‘foils terrorist act’ on oil tanker near Yemen

Aframax crude oil tanker hit by blast, allegedly attacked, Saudi Arabia

Aramco tankers being loaded with oil at an undisclosed sea location April 1, 2020. Crew are safe. Reports say it was allegedly, a mine blast.

An explosion damaged a Greek-managed tanker at a Saudi Arabian terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border, the ship's manager said yesterday, in an attack confirmed by Saudi Arabia. No pollution has been reported.

"At this stage we don't know if this is a case of a sea mine striking the vessel or whether this is a direct attack", said Munro Anderson, a partner at maritime security firm Dryad Global, adding that there are still several of old mines present in the Red Sea. "It is possible [that it was from a mine], certainly it was a blast".

In a statement, TMS Tankers said the incident happened at midnight GMT.

The United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations, an information exchange overseen by the British royal navy in the region, acknowledged a ship had "experienced an explosion", without elaborating.

Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

So far, there has been no comment from the Houthis, who are aligned with Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional rival.

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

The Agrari appears to have been delivering fuel oil from Europe, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.

The Houthis have repeatedly carried out attacks against Saudi Arabia across the border.

Two weeks ago, a fire near a floating platform belonging to the Jazan oil products terminal was contained with no injuries.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Houthis regarding the latest incident. Houthi military officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but they've been blamed for other mining incidents during the course of the war.

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".

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