Hijacked ship released off UAE coast, fears of escalating tension between Iran and world powers
The British Navy has said that a ship has been released after hijackers captured it on Tuesday off the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the Gulf of Oman. However, detailed information has not been given about this. The British Navy’s ‘Maritime Trade Operations’ had earlier warned of a ‘possible hijacking’ of a ship at night.
The group did not reveal the identity of the ship and said “the ship is safe.” Both ship authority Lloyd’s List and maritime intelligence company Dryad Global have identified the ship involved as the Panama-flagged asphalt tanker ‘Asphalt Princess’. The owner of the ship was identified as ‘Glory International’.
According to ‘MarineTraffic.com’ satellite images showed a ship moving towards Iran’s coast in the direction of Zask port on Wednesday. Shortly after the British Navy issued a statement, it was stopped and diverted towards Oman.
It is not yet clear who is responsible for the hijacking of the ship or who targeted the ship. The incident took place on Tuesday in the backdrop of escalating tensions between Iran and countries in the West over the breach of Tehran’s nuclear treaty with world powers. Recently, the US, Britain and Israel accused Iran of carrying out a drone strike targeting an oil tanker off the Oman coast. Iran has denied allegations of involvement in such activity.
Responding to the capture of the ship on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh called the recent sea attack in the Persian Gulf “absolutely suspicious”. He has denied Iran’s involvement in any such activity.
At the time of the incident on Tuesday, six oil tankers off the Fujairah coast announced with an automatic detection system that they had lost command, according to MarineTraffic.com.
The Gulf of Oman is located near the Strait of Hormuz, a narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, through which one-fifth of the world’s oil supply is supplied. Fujairah is on the east coast of the UAE.
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