British Military Says Ship Attacked in Red Sea Off Yemen's Coast

A monitoring group run by British military says the attack happened off a contested port city in Yemen on a vessel which was 'likely Hong Kong-flagged'

Panama-flagged bulk carrier ship "ATA-M" is moored at the Red Sea port of Hodeida in western Yemen, last month.
Panama-flagged bulk carrier ship "ATA-M" is moored at the Red Sea port of Hodeida in western Yemen, last month.Credit: AFP

A ship in the Red Sea came under attack on Thursday off the coast of war-torn Yemen, a monitoring group run by the British military said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations group said the attack happened off Hodeida, a contested port city amid that country’s years-long civil war. It said an investigation was ongoing into the incident, without elaborating.

British maritime security company Ambrey Intelligence said the incident involved a sailing vessel that managed to escape an attempted boarding from occupants of skiffs, and that the crew have been reported safe.

It said the vessel was "likely Hong Kong-flagged," but did not give further details.

The U.S. Navy's Mideast-based 5th Fleet said it was aware of the attack, but declined to immediately comment further.

A Saudi-led coalition has been at war since March 2015 against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels who have long held the Yemeni capital of Sanaa as well as Hodeida. The Houthis, Yemen's exiled government and the Saudi-led coalition did not immediately acknowledge the attack.

The incident marked the latest at-sea attack amid the war. In January, the Houthis seized the Emirati ship Rwabee. The Houthis described the vessel as carrying military weapons, while the Saudi-led coalition described it as carrying disassembled hospital equipment.

The ship's Indian crew were released last month after the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition reached a truce during the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan. The fragile truce is still ongoing now.

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