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UK receives report of incident east of Eritrea’s Assab, officials investigate

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) reports an incident approximately 33 nautical miles east of Eritrea’s Assab on January 2, 2024. (X)The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) organization on Tuesday received reports of up to three explosions one to five nautical miles from a merchant vessel in the Bab al-Mandab strait 33 nautical miles east of Eritrea’s Assab.

“The master reported no damage to the vessel and crew are reported safe at present,” UKMTO shared on X, formally Twitter.

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UKMTO said authorities were investigating.

UKMTO WARNING 001/JAN/2024

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi militants, who control much of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, have stepped up attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea in protest against Israel’s war in Gaza.

Several shipping lines have suspended operations through the Red Sea in response to the attacks, instead taking the longer journey around Africa.

The Houthis have vowed to continue their attacks until Israel halts the conflict in Gaza, and warned that it would attack US warships if the militia group itself was targeted.

 

Read more: Denmark to send frigate to US-led task force in Red Sea