Three die when missile hits cargo ship

Henry

Three people were killed and at least four others injured when a bulk cargo ship was hit by a missile in the Gulf of Aden on Wednesday, the US military said.

The missile was fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

The Iran-backed Houthi rebels have been targeting merchant vessels traveling through the important Red Sea trade route for months, but Wednesday’s deaths appear to be the first from such an attack.

The missile caused significant damage to the Liberian cargo ship, M/V True Confidencefiled.

“The crew abandoned ship and coalition warships responded to the incident. The situation is currently being evaluated,” the US military’s command center, Centcom, said.

This is the fifth time in two days that the Houthis have launched such a missile.

“These reckless attacks by the Houthi rebels have disrupted global trade and now also cut short the lives of international seafarers.”

The Philippine government’s Department of Migrant Workers confirmed in a statement that two of the deceased and two of the injured are Filipinos.

Yahya Saree, the Houthi rebels’ military spokesman, said on social media that the True Confidence ‘s crew ignored repeated warning messages about the planned missile attack.

US military attacks

Several hours after the bulk cargo ship was hit, Centcom said it had carried out strikes against “two unmanned aerial vehicles in a Houthi-controlled area of ​​Yemen, as they pose an imminent danger to merchant vessels and US naval vessels”.

“These steps are taken to protect freedom of navigation and secure international waters.”

Centcom did not elaborate further on the steps.

The US and Britain have carried out repeated attacks on Houthi targets in Yemen since January in response to the ongoing ship attacks in the Red Sea. However, the rebels do not give up.

The British Embassy in Sanaa confirmed the deaths on board the True Confidence described as “the sad but inevitable consequence of the Houthis’ reckless missile attacks on international shipping”.

David Cameron, the British foreign minister, promised that the country would continue to fight the Houthi rebels’ attacks.

The attacks in the Red Sea began in November last year, shortly after Hamas attacked Israel on October 7.

The rebels are part of an anti-Israel and anti-Western alliance. Their attacks pose a major threat to international trade, as the Red Sea carries a total of 12% of international maritime traffic.

Large cargo ships have already been diverted around Africa to the Cape to avoid attacks.