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Houthis attack British oil tanker carrying 22 Indians, Indian Navy assisting in rescue Houthi attack
Image Credit and Caption: UNI

Houthis attack British oil tanker carrying 22 Indians, Indian Navy assisting in rescue

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 27 Jan 2024, 08:23 pm

New Delhi: A British oil tanker named Marlin Luanda, with 22 Indian nationals, was hit by a missile by Houthis, media reports said, adding that the Indian Navy is helping in dousing the flames.

Responding to a distress call from the oil tanker, the Navy deployed its guided missile destroyer, INS Visakhapatnam, in the Gulf of Aden on the night of January 26.

“The firefighting efforts onboard the distressed Merchant Vessel is being augmented by the NBCD team along with firefighting equipment, deployed by INS Visakhapatnam to assist the crew onboard the MV,” the Navy said in a statement.

The Navy has confirmed that the targeted ship, attacked by Yemen's Iran-backed Houthis, carries 22 Indians and one Bangladeshi crew.

The fuel tanker, operated on behalf of trading firm Trafigura, was struck by a missile in the Red Sea, as confirmed by the company.

In addition to the British oil tanker, the Houthi group also attacked a US warship, the destroyer USS Carney. This incident marks a significant and perhaps the most substantial confrontation at sea between Western forces and the Middle East in decades.

This is not the first time the Houthi group has targeted an oil tanker with Indian nationals on board. On December 24, 2023, an oil tanker, carrying 25 Indians, was hit by a drone fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels in the Red Sea.

The Houthi group has been conducting attacks on oil tankers since November, citing Israel's military actions in Palestine as their motivation.

Following the Gulf of Aden attack, the UK government stated that Britain and its allies "reserve the right to respond appropriately" to such incidents.

“We are aware of reports that the M/V Marlin Luanda, a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker, has sustained damage from attack in the Gulf of Aden. Current reports suggest no casualties and nearby coalition vessels are on the scene. We have been clear that any attacks on commercial shipping are completely unacceptable and that the UK and our allies reserve the right to respond appropriately," a UK government official said.

A spokesperson for the Houthi military has acknowledged their naval forces' operation on the oil tanker, specifically identifying the vessel as 'British.'

Notably, the Houthi group has not officially claimed responsibility or acknowledged the attack on the USS Carney, the US warship.

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