Attack on Oil Tanker Off Oman Claims Lives of Two Crew Members, Operator Says
07:22 GMT 30.07.2021 (Updated: 12:52 GMT 30.07.2021)
Britain's maritime authorities said earlier in the day that the attack occurred 175 miles off the Port of Duqm on Thursday, adding that the incident was not related to piracy.
The UK Defence Ministry has stated that an Israeli-owned merchant ship was attacked in the Arabian Sea.
The incident occurred overnight, northeast of the Omani island of Masirah, according to London. British Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation was underway into the attack. The Omani authorities haven't addressed the incident so far.
London-based Zodiac Maritime, which is a part of Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Group, said on its website that they operate the ship in question. The vessel is the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Mercer Street, owned by a Japanese company, the statement said.
Later, Zodiac also reported that two people died as a result of the assault - one from the United Kingdom and another from Romania. The statement added that the company was "not aware of harm to any other personnel".
"With profound sadness, we understand that the incident onboard the M/T Mercer Street on 29 July, 2021, has resulted in the deaths of two crew members onboard: a Romanian national and a UK national ... Details of the incident are being established and an investigation into the incident is currently underway," Zodiac Maritime said in a statement on Twitter.
The Middle Eastern country is located near the Persian Gulf, controlling crucial routes for the oil trade.
Over the few past months, several incidents have occurred in the area, resulting in escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, as both sides accused each other of attacking their vessels.