UK National's Death in Attack on Mercer Street Tanker Caused by a 'Suicide Drone'
05:37 GMT 31.07.2021 (Updated: 12:39 GMT 31.07.2021)
© AP Photo / Jon GambrellThe Kokuka Courageous, one of two oil tankers targeted in an apparent attack in the Gulf of Oman
© AP Photo / Jon Gambrell
The Liberian-flagged Japanese-owned ship was assaulted overnight Thursday while it floated some 185 miles from Oman. So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.
An attack on the cargo ship Mercer Street in the Arabian Sea was carried out by "some sort of drone", SkyNews has reported, citing a source. The Associated Press also cited a source, reporting that a "suicide drone" was used against the ship. There has been no official confirmation of the reports so far.
The incident claimed the lives of two people - a British security guard and a Romanian crew member, operating company Zodiac Maritime stated.
— Navy Lookout (@NavyLookout) July 30, 2021
According to the company, the ship is safe and is being accompanied by a US naval escort.
"U.S. Navy explosives experts are aboard to ensure there is no additional danger to the crew and are prepared to support an investigation into the attack. Initial indications clearly point to a UAV-style attack", the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a press release, addressing the assault.
Initially, Zodiac Maritime said the attack was an act of piracy, however, that claim was quickly rejected by the British authorities, who are investigating the incident.
Since the operating company belongs to Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Group, Israel reportedly suspects Iran of carrying out the attack. The reports come amid escalating tensions between the two countries, as they have been accusing each other of attacking cargo ships in the area over the past several months.