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World Explosion rocks Greek-operated tanker in Saudi port

05:20  26 november  2020
05:20  26 november  2020 Source:   msn.com

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An explosion rocked a Greek - operated tanker docked at Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port of Shuqaiq Wednesday, Greek officials said, in an attack that a Riyadh-led military coalition blamed on Yemeni rebels.

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An explosion rocked a Greek-operated oil tanker docked at Saudi Arabia's port of Shuqaiq on Wednesday, Greek officials said, in an attack that a Riyadh-led military coalition blamed on Yemeni rebels.

a man standing next to a boat: The incident occurred two days after Huthi rebels said they struck a plant operated by energy giant Saudi Aramco in the western city of Jeddah with a Quds-2 missile. The strike tore a hole in the roof of an oil tank, triggering an explosion and fire © FAYEZ NURELDINE The incident occurred two days after Huthi rebels said they struck a plant operated by energy giant Saudi Aramco in the western city of Jeddah with a Quds-2 missile. The strike tore a hole in the roof of an oil tank, triggering an explosion and fire

The blast on the Maltese-flagged Agrari tanker follows a string of attacks by the Iran-linked rebels on Saudi oil infrastructure, highlighting the growing perils of a five-year military campaign led by the kingdom in Yemen.

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An explosion rocked a Greek - operated tanker docked at Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port of Shuqaiq Wednesday, Greek officials said, in an attack that a Riyadh-led military coalition blamed on Yemeni rebels. The owners of the Maltese-flagged tanker Agrari tanker said it was "attacked by an unknown

A Greek - operated tanker was damaged by a mine at a Saudi Arabian terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border, damaging its hull, British The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) separately said it was aware a vessel had experienced an explosion at Shuqaiq in Saudi

a large body of water: A photo provided by Saudi Aramco on April 1, 2020, shows Aramco tankers being loaded with oil at an undisclosed sea location. An explosion rocked a Greek-operated tanker docked at Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port of Shuqaiq Wednesday, Greek officials said © - A photo provided by Saudi Aramco on April 1, 2020, shows Aramco tankers being loaded with oil at an undisclosed sea location. An explosion rocked a Greek-operated tanker docked at Saudi Arabia's Red Sea port of Shuqaiq Wednesday, Greek officials said

The tanker was "attacked by an unknown source" while it was preparing to depart from the Red Sea port of Shuqaiq, its Greece-based operator TMS Tankers said, adding that no injuries were reported.

"The Agrari was struck about one meter above the waterline and has suffered a breach," TMS Tankers said in a statement.

"It has been confirmed that the crew are safe and there have been no injuries. No pollution has been reported."

An investigation was underway after Saudi authorities, including the coast guard, boarded the stricken vessel, it added.

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A Greek - operated tanker was damaged by a mine at a Saudi Arabian terminal on the Red Sea just north of the Yemeni border, damaging its hull, British The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) separately said it was aware a vessel had experienced an explosion at Shuqaiq in Saudi

Nevertheless, the tanker ’s operator, the Athens-based TMS Tankers , said the Maltese-flagged Agrari received a direct hit. “The Agrari was struck about one meter above the waterline and has suffered a breach The Saudi Ministry of Energy said firefighters extinguished a fire that erupted after the attack.

There were 25 crew members onboard, including seven Greeks, according to an official at Greece's merchant marine ministry.

"The explosion happened around 0300 local time (0000 GMT), but the causes have not yet been identified," the ministry official said.

The tanker was carrying no cargo when the blast occurred, the ministry added, dispelling any fears of an oil spill.

The Saudi-led military coalition confirmed that a commercial vessel suffered minor damage during what it described as a foiled "terrorist act".

Without naming the vessel, it said the incident occurred when an explosives-laden boat launched by Yemen's Huthi rebels was intercepted and destroyed.

The commercial vessel was damaged by shrapnel from the "booby-trapped boat", the coalition was quoted as saying by the Saudi state-run Al-Ekhbariya television.

"The hostile acts of the Huthi militia threaten shipping lanes and global trade," the coalition said, without offering details.

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A Greek - operated tanker was damaged by a mine at a Saudi Arabian terminal, damaging its hull, British maritime security company Ambrey said on “LR2/Aframax tanker AGRARI was impacted by a mine having berthed at one of the Al Shuqaiq Steam Power Plant (SSPP) jetties in Saudi Arabia

The tanker Sinopa, operated by the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), was sailing through the Red Sea when the explosion occurred. NIOC, which once ranked second after Saudi Aramco in terms of crude oil extraction, told state-run IRNA news agency that the vessel was hit by what appears to be

- Military quagmire -

Dryad Global, a London-based maritime intelligence firm, said that unnamed sources within the coalition indicated the blast was the "result of a Huthi-launched water-borne improvised explosive device (WBIED)".

"Vessels transiting the Red Sea area are reminded that regional conflicts exist whereby there is a realistic possibility that vessels of Saudi flag and those calling at southern Saudi ports are at moderate risk," Dryad Global said in a report.

There was no immediate reaction from the Huthis.

But Wednesday's incident comes as the Iran-backed rebels step up attacks on neighbouring Saudi Arabia in retaliation for the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.

On Monday, the Huthi rebels said they struck a plant operated by energy giant Saudi Aramco in the western city of Jeddah with a Quds-2 missile.

The strike, which underscores the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia's infrastructure and the rebel's advancing arsenal, tore a hole in the roof of an oil tank, triggering an explosion and fire.

Earlier this month, a fire broke out at a Saudi oil terminal off the southern province of Jizan after two explosives-laden boats launched by the rebels were intercepted by the coalition, according to the kingdom's energy ministry.

On Tuesday, the coalition said it had destroyed five naval mines planted by the Huthis in the southern Red Sea, saying such tactics posed a "serious threat to maritime security".

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to the Huthis, a charge Tehran denies.

Saudi Arabia is stuck in a military quagmire in Yemen, which has been locked in conflict since Huthi rebels took control of the capital Sanaa in 2014 and went on to seize much of the north.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened the following year to support the internationally recognised government, but the conflict that has shown no signs of abating.

Despite its superior firepower and military hardware, the coalition has struggled to oust the rebels from their northern strongholds, including Sanaa.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly civilians, have been killed and millions displaced in what the United Nations has called the world's worst humanitarian disaster.

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