Fire doused on oil tanker attacked by Houthi rebels

The crew aboard a Marshall Islands-flagged tanker hit by a missile launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels extinguished an hour-long fire onboard the stricken vessel Saturday sparked by the strike, authorities said.

The attack on the Marlin Luanda further complicated the Red Sea crisis caused by the Iranian-backed rebels’ attacks over Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The tanker carried Russian-produced naphtha, a flammable oil, drawing Moscow further into a conflict that so far it had blamed on the U.S.

Early Saturday, U.S. forces conducted a strike against a Houthi anti-ship missile that was aimed at the Red Sea and prepared to launch, the US military’s Central Command said. That attack came after the USS Carney, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, had to shoot down a Houthi missile targeting it.

The Marlin Luanda burned for hours in the Gulf of Aden until being extinguished Saturday, said Trafigura, a Singapore-based trading firm. Its crew of 25 Indian nationals and two Sri Lankans were still trying to battle the blaze sparked by the missile strike, it said. No one was injured by the blast, it added.

“We are pleased to confirm that all crew on board the Marlin Luanda are safe and the fire in the cargo tank has been fully extinguished,” Trafigura said. “The vessel is now sailing towards a safe harbour.”

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