Sana’a, Dec 18 (EFE).- The British Navy reported a possible explosion near a vessel close to the coast of Yemen on Monday, following a series of attacks by Yemeni rebels targeting commercial ships.
The navy’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operation (UKMTO), which provides warnings to sailors in the Middle East, said it had received “a report of an incident in the vicinity of Bab El Mandreb, 39 nautical miles (about 56 km) south of port Mokha, Yemen.”
The monitor said a “possible explosion” reportedly occurred in the water, two nautical miles (nearly 4 km) off one of the vessel quarters.
“Authorities are investigating. Vessels are advised to transit with caution and report any suspicious activity.”
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the incident.
The report comes amid a series of attacks by the Houthi rebels on commercial vessels near Yemen and the group’s announcement of plans to attack any ship traveling through the Red Sea en route to Israel.
On Friday, shipping groups Maersk and Hapag-Lloyd announced the temporary suspension of navigation through the Suez Canal and the Red Sea after several ships were attacked off the coast of Yemen.
Other groups supported the decision and joined the temporary suspension without specifying a date to resume navigation along the sea route.
The Houthis launched missiles and drones on southern Israel in the last two months, also targeting ships flying the flag of the Jewish state or owned by Israeli companies in the Red Sea and the Bab El Mandeb Strait.
At least three ships were targeted on Friday, the most violent day against international marine navigation in the region.
The Houthis, an Iranian-backed Yemeni rebel force, claimed responsibility for two of the attacks. EFE