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  • Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz, December 21, 2018.

    Oil tankers pass through the Strait of Hormuz, December 21, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 June 2019

Nearly a month after several explosions rocked four oil tankers off the coast of the United Ar Emirates, Iran has reported a new attack on two oil tankers in the Sea of Oman. 

Two large oil tankers that were traveling through the Sea of Oman on Thursday morning have come under attack, the Al-Alam News Agency reported.

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Citing local sources, Al-Alam reported that two successive explosions were heard in the Sea of Oman.

The Al-Alam sources said the blasts were caused by attacks on the tankers, but they did not place blame on any nation or group.

Local Pakistani sources also said the tankers had sent distress calls to the sea’s littoral states, the report added.

Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported that the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations — which is run by the British navy — had warned that an unspecified incident has taken place in the sea and was urging “extreme caution.”

It comes a month after another apparent attack on vessels in the Gulf. On 12 May, four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Emirati and one Norwegian — were targeted off the coast of Fujairah in what the UAE Foreign Ministry described as acts of sabotage.

The three countries whose ships were damaged said in a joint statement that limped mines had been placed in a “sophisticated and coordinated operation” by divers. The UAE suggested that it was likely the work of a “state actor” but stop short of identifying the culprit.

US officials, however, were quick to point the finger at Iran. "It's clear that Iran is behind the Fujairah attack. Who else would you think would be doing it? Someone from Nepal?" said US National Security Adviser John Bolton.

In turn, US Secretary of State Pompeo alleged that Iran had attacked the tankers to raise the global price of oil.

Tehran has denied any involvement and called for an investigation.

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