By Jite Eriabie
A product tanker was fired upon while underway some 33 nautical miles South West of Mukalla, Yemen on November 21.
The vessel was chased by a speedboat manned by a group of armed persons, who opened fire upon the tanker once it closed in.
The crew of the tanker raised the alarm, increased the speed and started vessel maneuvers to thwart boarding, IMB Piracy Reporting Centre informed.
All non-essential crew mustered in the engine room.
“Due to the hardening measures and the presence of an armed security team on board the boarding was averted,” IMB said.
All crew members are reported to be safe.
The attack comes on the back of threats by the Houthi movement to attack commercial ships in the region as a sign of retaliation to the closure of Yemeni ports by the Saudi-led coalition.
The closure applies to ports under the control of Houthi rebels, namely the Red Sea ports of Hudaydah and Saleef.
Yemen has been faced with a major humanitarian crisis, especially following the port closure, as the country’s population is in dire need of food and medicines.
After repeated calls from UN organizations for the lifting of the humanitarian blockade to the war-stricken country, the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition allowed for the Red Sea port of Hudaydah to reopen on November 22 in order to receive urgent humanitarian relief.
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