Saudi Arabia Destroys Bomb-Laden Boat Off Yanbu in Red Sea

Saudi Arabia said it destroyed a bomb-laden boat in the Red Sea near the refinery hub of Yanbu Tuesday.

The Defense Ministry said the vessel was remotely controlled and spotted at 6:40 a.m. local time. An investigation is ongoing, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Earlier, the U.K. Maritime Trade Operations, linked to the Royal Navy, said it was looking into “reports of an incident” approximately two nautical miles off the coast of Yanbu.

The National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia, known as Bahri, denied reports that one of its vessels, the NCC Dammam, had been attacked. All the firm’s ships are safe, Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Al Dubaikhi said in a phone interview.

Saudi Arabia’s Red Sea coast experienced a spate of shipping attacks and explosions late last year, some of which were claimed by Yemen’s Houthis rebels.

The Houthis, battling a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war, also claimed to have targeted Yanbu, home to a Saudi Aramco oil refinery, last month with drones and missiles. That attack, like most of those claimed by the Houthis, caused little damage.

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