UK agency reports potential hijacking of commercial vessel reported in Gulf of Oman, offshore United Arab Emirates – .

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UK agency reports potential hijacking of commercial vessel reported in Gulf of Oman, offshore United Arab Emirates – .



United Kingdom Maritime Commercial Operations (UKMTO) said on Tuesday the incident was reported in the Gulf of Oman, 61 nautical miles north of the coast of Fujairah Port in the United Arab Emirates.

UKMTO, which is operated by the British Royal Navy and serves as a relay point for maritime safety information between military and private entities, cited third-party sources, and no further information was provided on the ship or the incident.

“Ships are advised to exercise extreme caution when passing through this area,” said a UKMTO statement.

CNN could not independently verify the incident, however, three ships in the waters changed their status to “Not Under Command” according to MarineTraffic.com, a website that tracks maritime activity. It is not clear whether these status changes were related to the incident reported by UKMTO.

The US Coast Guard defines the term “not under command” to mean “in exceptional circumstances” a ship is “unable to maneuver as required by international maritime rules.”

US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Washington was “aware of reports of a maritime incident in the Gulf of Oman.”

“We are worried, we are reviewing it, we are coordinating with partners, but at this point I have nothing more to offer you,” Price said in Tuesday’s daily briefing.

The Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea have seen an increase in attacks in recent months, including a drone attack on an Israel-linked tanker last week.

Two people, a Briton and a Romanian, were killed when the Mercer Street tanker was attacked by a drone off the coast of Oman. The United States, Israel and the United Kingdom blamed Iran for the attack, which Tehran denies.

Iran quickly denied any involvement in Tuesday’s alleged incident in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh telling Iranian news agency Tasnim that the The country’s armed forces had not entered any ships operating in this area, as reported in some Western media.

The spokesperson called the information suspect and stressed that Iran’s basic policy is to establish stability and security in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea, as well as to ensure that its Naval forces assist ships passing through the area in case they broadcast SOS messages. .

The location of Tuesday’s alleged incident is near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow waterway in the Persian Gulf through which 30% of the world’s maritime crude oil passes every day, according to the International Crisis Group, an independent organization. which monitors the potential hotbeds of conflict in the world.

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