Explosion sets Iranian oil tanker ablaze in Red Sea: report

JEDDAH, October 11 – Blast caused by ‘terrorists’ inflicts heavy damage and oil is spilling into the Red Sea, Iran news agency says.

An explosion set an Iranian oil tanker in the Red Sea, news reports said on Friday, and analysts said they believed it was a “terrorist attack”.

The blast hit a tanker that belongs to the National Iranian Oil Company and set the vessel ablaze 120km (60 miles) off the coast of the Saudi port city of Jeddah, Iran’s Students News Agency (ISNA) reported.

The explosion caused heavy damage and oil is spilling into the Red Sea, unnamed sources told ISNA.

“Experts believe it was a terrorist attack,” the news report said.

There was no immediate acknowledgement from Saudi Arabia about the reported explosion. 

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Several attacks on oil infrastructure in the Gulf have occurred in recent months amid heightened tensions across the Middle East.

Friday’s incident comes after the United States alleged that Iran had attacked oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, an accusation denied by Tehran.

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