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3 killed in Houthi missile attack on cargo vessel: US military

Houthi
Photo Credit : IANS

Sanaa: Three crew members were killed and four others injured in a Houthi missile strike on a Barbados-flagged commercial ship while it was crossing the Gulf of Aden, US officials said.

The US Central Command (Centcom), which oversees operations in the Middle East, said on Wednesday that an anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM) was launched from “Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist-controlled areas of Yemen toward merchant vessel ‘True Confidence’, a Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier, while transiting the Gulf of Aden”.

“The missile struck the vessel, and the multinational crew reports three fatalities, at least four injuries, of which three are in critical condition, and significant damage to the ship,” it added.

The crew consisted of 20 sailors of different nationalities, including India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Nepal, Xinhua news agency reported, citing Yemeni sources.

The sources said most of the crew had managed to flee the ship using lifeboats amid indications that the ship was about to sink, while three crew members were still missing.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said on its website that the crew abandoned the ship after it was set ablaze by the attack and suffered damage, adding US and British Navy forces stationed in the Red Sea had rushed to the scene to provide help.

Data from ship-tracking service MarineTraffic showed that the Barbados-flagged bulk carrier set sail on February 13 towards international waters and was heading for the Saudi port of Jeddah.

In immediate retaliation, the US and British coalition stationed in the Red Sea launched two airstrikes on Hodeidah airport, which was destroyed during the Yemeni civil war in the previous years but recently turned into a military barracks by the Houthi fighters, the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported.

There was no immediate comment yet from the coalition regarding the alleged attack on the airport.

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