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An oil tanker came under attack while at a Saudi Arabian terminal in the Red Sea about 125 miles north of the country’s border with Yemen.
The Agrari, a so-called Aframax-class vessel able to haul about 700,000 barrels of oil, was holed about 1 meter above the waterline in the incident, according to a statement distributed on behalf of the carrier’s owner. The attack took place as the ship was preparing to leave a berth at the Shuqaiq facility having finished unloading a cargo.
The incident was not at a crude oil export facility, and the ship appears to have been delivering fuel from Europe, according to shipping data compiled by Bloomberg.
The cause of the breach was unclear, though the ship was suspected to have been hit by a mine, according to a person familiar with the matter. Crew are safe, no pollution has been reported, and the ship itself is stable, according to the statement, which was distributed by MTI Network for TMS Tankers Ltd.
So far, it remains unclear who was behind the attack.
A Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen said Tuesday they destroyed five Houthi mines in the Red Sea, according to Saudi state-run Al-Ekhbariya TV. The mines were Iranian made, the coalition report said. It said the “hostile Houthi actions supported by Iran threaten maritime security.”
The vessel has been boarded by local authorities, including the Coast Guard and an investigation is under way.
The Houthis fired a missile at a Saudi Aramco fuel depot in Jeddah, the kingdom’s second-biggest city, on Monday morning. Firefighters took about 40 minutes to put out the blaze, in which no one was hurt, according to an Aramco official.
— With assistance by Donna Abu-Nasr, Prejula Prem, and Javier Blas
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