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Yemen's Houthis target MSC ship in Gulf of Aden

Houthi military helicopter flies over the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in this photo released November 20, 2023 — Houthi Military Media/Handout via REUTERS/File photo used only for representation
Houthi military helicopter flies over the Galaxy Leader cargo ship in the Red Sea in this photo released November 20, 2023 — Houthi Military Media/Handout via REUTERS/File photo used only for representation

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Yemen's Houthis said they targeted the MSC Darwin ship in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, as the Iran-aligned group resumed attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea region in solidarity with Palestinians fighting Israel in the Gaza war.

The Houthis also fired a number of ballistic and winged missiles at several targets in Israel's port city of Eilat, the group's military spokesman Yahya Sarea said in a televised speech on Thursday.

The Liberian-flagged MSC Darwin VI ship was in the area of the attack, travelling between the ports of Aden and Djibouti, according to Refinitiv data.

Swiss-based MSC, which operates the world's largest container line by fleet capacity, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reuters was not immediately able to confirm if that vessel was the MSC Darwin mentioned by the Houthis.

The Houthis since November have attacked more than four dozen ships, taking possession of one and sinking another. The barrage of assaults had eased in recent weeks amid US-led airstrikes and a sharp drop in commercial vessel voyages through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.

Earlier on Thursday, a ship's captain reported hearing a loud bang and seeing a splash and smoke coming from the sea on Thursday around 15 nautical miles southwest of the Yemeni port of Aden, Britain's maritime agency said.

The UK Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) added that the crew and vessel were safe and military authorities were supporting it.

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