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Houthi Missile Strike Kills Two Crew Members on Cargo Ship off Yemen Coast

The incident marks the first fatalities in the ongoing series of attacks on Commercial vessels
02:43 AM Mar 07, 2024 IST | GK Monitoring Desk
houthi missile strike kills two crew members on cargo ship off yemen coast
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New Delhi, March 6: Two crew members lost their lives in a missile strike on a cargo ship off the southern coast of Yemen, an act attributed to Houthi forces, international media reported.

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The incident marks the first fatalities resulting from the group's ongoing attacks on merchant vessels traversing the volatile waters of the region. The strike, which occurred in the Gulf of Aden around 09:30 GMT, also left six other crew members injured. The vessel, flagged under Barbados, was left abandoned and adrift with a fire raging onboard, according to media sources.

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The vessel, carrying a crew of 20 individuals hailing from various nations including India, Vietnam, and the Philippines, along with three armed guards, fell victim to what appears to be an escalating conflict between Houthi forces and international maritime traffic.

The Houthi group, backed by Iran, claims the attack was a response to alleged disregard of warnings issued by their naval forces. They assert their actions were in solidarity with Palestinians amid the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, further complicating an already volatile geopolitical landscape.

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The incident unfolded approximately 50 nautical miles southwest of the strategic port city of Aden, a region fraught with tensions and historical geopolitical significance.
Initial warnings preceding the attack came from a group identifying itself as the "Yemeni navy," demanding an alteration in the vessel's course. Moments later, nearby vessels reported a deafening explosion followed by plumes of smoke, signalling the fatal strike, media reported.

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In response to the distress call, rescue and salvage operations were promptly launched with support from international maritime coalitions.

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The cargo ship's intended journey from China to Saudi Arabia, laden with steel products and trucks, underscores the crucial role maritime trade plays in the global economy.
Yet, these vital trade routes have increasingly become arenas of conflict, with Houthi forces targeting commercial vessels in a bid to assert control and further their political agenda.
This latest attack adds to a series of clashes between Houthi forces and coalition warships, highlighting the escalating tensions in the region.

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On Monday the Indian navy helped put out a fire on board the container ship MSC Sky II, which its operator said had been hit by a missile that caused a small fire and no injuries.

As international efforts intensify to secure these vital waterways, the first death of a sailor serves as a stark reminder of the perils faced by seafarers navigating these treacherous waters amidst geopolitical turmoil.

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