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World

UK Defense Ministry: Israeli ship target in attack off Oman

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Kingdom’s Defense Ministry says an Israeli-owned merchant ship was targeted in a reported attack off Oman in the Arabian Sea.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement Friday it was still investigating the reported attack.

A brief statement earlier Friday from United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation was underway into the incident, which it described as happening late Thursday night just northeast of the Omani island of Masirah.

Oman did not immediately acknowledge an attack. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A ship reportedly came under attack off the coast of Oman in the Arabian Sea, a British military group said Friday, offering few other details.

The brief statement from United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation was underway into the incident, which it described as happening late Thursday night just northeast of the Omani island of Masirah. The location is over 300 kilometers (185 miles) southeast of Oman’s capital, Muscat.

The statement did not elaborate, other to say that it suspected the attack did not involve piracy. Earlier on Thursday, the British military group had said it was investigating another unexplained incident in the same area, but it did not elaborate.

Oman did not immediately acknowledge an attack and officials there did not respond to requests for comment. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which patrols the Mideast, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The incident comes amid heightened tensions over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal and as negotiations over restoring the accord have stalled in Vienna. Since then-President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the accord in 2018, there have been a series of ship attacks in the region suspected to have been carried out by Tehran.

Jon Gambrell, The Associated Press