A missile attack on a Greece-owned bulk carrier in the Red Sea has been reported on Monday. No casualties have been signaled, although the vessel was damaged.

A vessel came under missile attack off Yemen’s southern coast on Monday while transiting the strategic Bab al-Mandeb strait, according to security agencies.

The incident occurred before 04:00 AM local time (01:00 GMT) in an area where Houthis repeatedly targeted Red Sea shipping in recent months, the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency said in a report.

“The crew are reported safe and the vessel is proceeding to next port of call,” UKMTO said.

Another security firm, Ambrey, said that the Marshall Islands-flagged, Greece-owned bulk carrier “was targeted by missiles in two separate incidents” within 20 minutes and “was reportedly hit and sustained physical damage on the starboard side.”

The vessel had a private armed security team on board, Ambrey said.

The group owner and operator of the bulk carrier, which was targeted on Monday, regularly trades cargo with Iran, “so this was assessed to be the likely destination,” Ambrey said.

“The group owner of the bulker was also listed on the US stock market index NASDAQ, which was identified as the likely reason for the attack,” it said.

The Houthis’ attacks prompted some shipping companies to detour around southern Africa to avoid the Red Sea, a vital route that normally carries about 12% of global maritime trade.

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With AFP