An explosion damaged the Agrari tanker off the coast of Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea, near the border with Yemen, according to a private insurance company.
"Their vessel was attacked by an unknown source", a statement from the Agrari's operator, TMS Tankers Ltd., said.
The Agrari, a so-called Aframax-class vessel able to haul about 700,000 barrels of oil, was holed about 1 meter above the waterline in the incident, according to a statement distributed on behalf of the carrier's owner.
An investigation was underway after Saudi authorities, including the coast guard, boarded the stricken vessel, it added.More news: Utah to play at Washington on Saturday, November 28
"There's definitely an uptick of attacks from the Yemen side of the border on Saudi Arabia to try to send a signal that it's not just in the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf that Iran has the ability to undermine Saudi oil interests and naval activities", said Ayham Kamel, head of Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group, which advises clients on political risk. It said the Agrari had cargo from Rotterdam, Netherlands, that it had discharged at the Shuqaiq Steam Power Plant.
"The explosion took place in port limits and punctured the hull of the vessel, which is in ballast", Ambrey said in a statement.
The Houthis claimed responsibility for the fire, saying they used a missile. The report offered no details and it wasn't immediately clear if the report was the same incident at Shuqaiq.
The strike, which underscores the vulnerability of Saudi Arabia's infrastructure and the rebel's advancing arsenal, tore a hole in the roof of an oil tank, triggering an explosion and fire.More news: WARMINGTON:Toronto's BBQ Revolt is cooking at a slow pace
The Houthis have been fighting Yemen's United Nations-backed government since 2015, the same year a Saudi-led coalition intervened to roll back the rebels' gains. The mines were Iranian-made, the coalition report said.
"Sea mines are low cost, easy to deploy, tactically very effective, hard to detect and thus are a potent threat to both naval and commercial vessels", that report warned. Mines can enter the water and then be carried away by the currents, which changed by the season in the Red Sea.
Dryad Global, a London-based maritime intelligence firm, said that unnamed sources within the coalition indicated the blast was the "result of a Huthi-launched water-borne improvised explosive device (WBIED)".More news: Opposition slams Trudeau government over COVID-19 vaccine delays