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Published On: Sun, May 12th, 2019

UAE confirms vessels targeted by ‘sabotage’ near port

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The ministry statement was tweeted by the official news agency WAM.

Abu Dhabi, (ANN)-The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed, after initial denial, that a number of commercial ships have been targeted by “sabotage” attack near its territorial waters.

the Foreign Ministry of the United Arab Emirates issued a statement, saying that four commercial vessels have been targeted by “sabotage operations” near its territorial waters.

The statement added that there were no victims, but fell short of giving any details on possible damage to commercial vessels, their nationally and possible casualties.

The ministry statement was tweeted by the official news agency WAM.

According to the statement, the incident occurred near the UAE emirate of Fujairah, one of the world’s largest bunkering hubs that lies just outside the Strait of Hormuz, which is a vital oil and natural gas corridor for the global energy market.

“Subjecting commercial vessels to sabotage operations and threatening the lives of their crew is considered a dangerous development,” the statement added.

The statement claimed that despite the attack, routine port operations at Fujairah port were going on without interruption.

Earlier in the day, the Lebanon-based Al Mayadeen television channel reported that as many as seven tankers had been hit by a massive fire at the al-Fujairah oil tanker terminal.

The report stated that several powerful explosions were also heard at the port.

Later, the media office of the government of Fujairah denied the report of the explosions altogether, saying that transit and other activities at the port were underway as usual. Additionally, Brigadier Ali Obaid al-Taniji, the director of the department of civil defense in Fujairah, told the Emarat al-Youm daily that there had been no fire or explosion at the port.

Despite the UAE government’s denial, witnesses have emphasized that the blasts have taken place and some media sources have even went further, identifying a number of oil tankers hit by the explosions by their hull numbers as follows:

AMJAD tanker
No.: 9779800

Al Marzouqah tanker
No.: 9165762

Miraj oil tanker
No.: 9394741

A.MICHEL oil tanker
No.: 9177674

FNSA10 oil tanker 
No.: 9432074

Earlier this week, a number of powerful explosions rocked Saudi Arabia’s port city of Yanbu’, an important petroleum shipping terminal for the kingdom. Reports, however, fell short of giving any reason for the blasts or possible casualties.

No further details have been made available up to this moment and no group or individual has assumed responsibility for the blasts.

Yanbu’ is an important petroleum shipping terminal for Saudi Arabia and home to three oil refineries, a plastics facility and several other petrochemical plants.

The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, did not immediately offer comment on the incident. Emirati officials declined to elaborate while their investigation is ongoing.

Earlier Sunday, Lebanon’s pro-Iran satellite channel Al-Mayadeen, quoting “Gulf sources,” falsely reported that a series of explosions had struck Fujairah’s port. State and semi-official media in Iran picked up the reports, citing Al-Mayadeen, which later published the names of vessels it claimed were involved in the incident.

The Associated Press, after speaking to Emirati officials and local witnesses, found the reports about an explosion at the port to be unsubstantiated.

Fujairah’s port is located about 140 kilometers (85 miles) from the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil at sea is traded. The facility handles oil for bunkering and shipping, as well as general and bulk cargo. It is seen as strategically located, serving shipping routes in the Persian Gulf, the Indian subcontinent and Africa.

The reported sabotage incident comes after the U.S. Maritime Administration warned Thursday that Iran could target commercial sea traffic.

“Since early May, there is an increased possibility that Iran and/or its regional proxies could take action against U.S. and partner interests, including oil production infrastructure, after recently threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz,” the warning read. “Iran or its proxies could respond by targeting commercial vessels, including oil tankers, or U.S. military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, or the Persian Gulf.”

It’s unclear if that is the same perceived threat that prompted the White House to order the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to the region on May 4.

About the Author

- Arraale Mohamoud Jama Freelance Journalist and Human Rights Activist Arraale, is a 20 year experience as a professional Journalist and human rights activist Over the years, worked for the major News Papers in Somaliland as a reporter, editor and contributor. 2008 established website Araweelo News Network, he currently runs a web site based in Somaliland. who is the specializes in the investigation and reporting on issues relating to human rights, democracy, and good governance. contact: Info@araweelonews.com jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 WhatsApp + 252 65 910 7347.

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