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British navy group: Hijackers have left vessel off UAE coast

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FUJAIRAH, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The hijackers who seized a vessel off the coast of the United Arab Emirates within the Gulf of Oman left the focused ship on Wednesday, the British navy reported, with out elaborating.

The British navy’s United Kingdom Maritime Commerce Operations reported that the “incident,” which it had described as a possible hijacking the evening earlier than, was now “full.” It didn’t present additional particulars.

It was not instantly clear who was chargeable for the tried ship hijack. Transport authority Lloyd’s Record and maritime intelligence agency Dryad International had each recognized the hijacked vessel as Panama-flagged asphalt tanker Asphalt Princess. The vessel’s proprietor, listed as Emirati free zone-based Glory Worldwide, couldn’t instantly be reached for remark.

The occasion unfolded amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over Tehran’s tattered nuclear take care of world powers and as industrial delivery within the area has discovered itself caught within the crosshairs. Most not too long ago, the U.S., the U.Ok. and Israel have blamed Iran for a drone assault on an oil tanker off the coast of Oman that killed two folks. Iran has denied involvement.

The U.S. navy’s Mideast-based fifth Fleet and the British Protection Ministry didn’t return requires remark in regards to the reported hijack. The Emirati authorities didn’t instantly acknowledge the incident.

Late on Tuesday, because the incident was underway, six oil tankers off the coast of Fujairah had introduced across the similar time by way of their Automated Identification System trackers that they had been “not beneath command,” in accordance with MarineTraffic.com. That sometimes means a vessel has misplaced energy and might now not steer.

The Gulf of Oman is close to the Strait of Hormuz, the slim mouth of the Persian Gulf by which a fifth of all oil passes. Fujairah, on the UAE’s japanese coast, is a most important port within the area for ships to tackle new oil cargo, decide up provides or commerce out crew. For the previous two years, the waters off Fujairah have seen a series of explosions and hijackings. The U.S. Navy blamed Iran for a series of limpet mine assaults on vessels that broken tankers.

Apparently responding to the incident, Iranian International Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh described the latest maritime assaults within the Persian Gulf as “utterly suspicious.” He denied that Iran was concerned.

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Debre reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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