MSC confirms container ship hit by missile off Yemen

MSC confirms container ship hit by missile off Yemen
MSC confirms container ship hit by missile off Yemen

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - Global container shipping company MSC confirmed yesterday one of its vessels was hit by a missile off the coast of Yemen, in an attack claimed by the country’s Houthi rebels. ― Reuters pic

GENEVA, March 6 — Global container shipping company MSC confirmed yesterday one of its vessels was hit by a missile off the coast of Yemen, in an attack claimed by the country’s Houthi rebels.

Since November, the Iran-backed rebels have fired drones and missiles at numerous ships in the Red Sea area vital for world trade.

Geneva-based MSC said the Liberian-flagged container ship MSC Sky II was hit on Monday near Aden, causing a fire which has now been extinguished. There were no injuries.

“During her passage from Singapore to Djibouti, MSC Sky II was hit by a missile on March 4 at around 1320 GMT, 85 miles (135 kilometres) southeast of Aden and 170 miles (275 km) east-southeast of the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait,” MSC said in a statement.

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“The missile caused a small fire that has been extinguished while no crew were injured. She is currently continuing her journey to Djibouti and will arrive today for further assessment.”

The MSC Sky II is nearly 184 metres long and 30 metres wide.

The Houthis said in a statement they had targeted “an Israeli ship MSC SKY in the Arabian Sea” with missiles and that “the hit was accurate and direct”.

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The Houthis, who control much of war-torn Yemen, say they are attacking Israeli-linked shipping in solidarity with Palestinians in the besieged territory.

The attacks have caused several major shipping firms to suspend passage through the Red Sea, which usually carries around 12 per cent of global trade, and divert vessels thousands of miles around Africa, driving up delivery times and costs.

The Bab al-Mandeb Strait is a narrow waterway at the southern tip of the Red Sea, connecting with the Gulf of Aden in the Indian Ocean.

It separates Yemen on the Arabian Peninsula from Djibouti and Eritrea on the Horn of Africa.

The United States and Britain have since January launched repeated military strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen in response to the Houthis’ attacks.

But the rebels have continued targeting shipping in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea.

The US military’s Central Command (CentCom) said Houthis had fired two anti-ship ballistic missiles from Yemen into the Gulf of Aden, at the MSC Sky II, with one of them hitting the Swiss-owned container vessel.

“The ship did not request assistance and continued on its way,” CentCom said on X, formerly Twitter. — AFP

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