Blasts damage 2 ships in Gulf of Oman

Muscat: Two large oil tankers have been hit by explosions in the Sea of Oman, the Iranian state media reported on Thursday without citing any clear evidence.

Iran’s Al-Alam television network cited local sources in Oman as saying that two successive explosions were heard in the Sea of Oman on Thursday morning.

At the same time, a United Kingdom maritime safety group also warned regarding an unspecified incident that took place in the Gulf of Oman and urged for “extreme caution” in the region.

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The UK’s Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British navy, put out an alert today in which it did not elaborate on the incident, but said it was investigating it, Al Jazeera reported.

Joshua Frey, a spokesman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said his command was “aware” of a reported incident in the area and is currently investigating the matter.

The incident comes one month after four tankers were sabotaged in the Gulf of Oman off the UAE port of Fujairah.

The previous incident was blamed on Iran by the United States, which asserted that Tehran was almost certainly behind it.

However, since then there has been no response to that attack even though Saudi Arabia hosted three summits and urged unity against Iran.

Two of the tankers affected in May belonged to Saudi Arabia.

The tankers affected today were reportedly flying Panama and Marshall Island flags and were en route from the UAE and Saudi Arabia to Singapore and Taiwan. The incident took place as the tankers were allegedly off the coast of Iran.

The incident comes amid reports of strained relations between the United States and Iran that was heightened after Washington deployed Patriot missile defence battery and a Navy ship in the Arabian Gulf.

Pentagon said that the deployment was in response to “indications of heightened Iranian readiness to conduct offensive operations against US forces and interests.”


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