Two Vessels Catch Fire After Missile Strikes Off Yemen’s Aden

CAIRO, June 9 (Reuters) – Two ships caught on fire after being hit by projectiles off Yemen’s Aden, two UK maritime agencies reported on Sunday.

The British security firm Ambrey said on Sunday an Antigua- and Barbuda-flagged general cargo ship was struck by a missile 83 nautical miles southeast of Aden and caught fire. The fire was later contained.

Earlier, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it had received a report from a captain of a vessel of an incident 80 nautical miles southeast of Aden.

“The ship was heading southwest along the Gulf of Aden at a speed of 8.2 knots when the forward station was struck by a missile. A fire started but was neutralized,” Ambrey said in an advisory note.

“A second missile was sighted but did not hit the ship. Persons on board small boats in the vicinity opened fire on the ship during the incident.”

Ambrey said the ship changed course to port and increased speed, adding that “no injuries were reported.”

Separately, UKMTO said it received a report from a master of a vessel about another incident 70 nautical miles southwest of Aden.

“The master reports that the vessel was hit by an unknown projectile on the aft section, which resulted in a fire. Damage control is underway,” UKMTO said in advisory note.

It added that no casualties were reported and the vessel was proceeding to its next port of call.

The Houthi militia, which controls the most populous parts of Yemen and is aligned with Iran, has attacked ships off its coast for months, saying it is acting in solidarity with Palestinians fighting Israel in Gaza.

The Houthi fighters have aimed drone and missile strikes at the Bab al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden, forcing shippers since November to take longer and more costly journeys around southern Africa.

(Reporting by Muhammad Al Gebaly; Editing by Cynthia Osterman, Richard Chang and Kim Coghill)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2024.

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