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Houthi Missile attack severely injures sailor on cargo ship: US Military

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YEMEN : Two cruise missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck a bulk cargo carrier in the Gulf of Aden on Thursday, severely injuring a sailor who was evacuated by American forces, the US Military said.

The Houthis have been targeting vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November 2023 in attacks they say are in solidarity with Palestinians during the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

Although this has caused major disruption to international shipping, casualties have been rare.

The M/V Verbena — a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated ship — “reported damage and subsequent fires on board. The crew continues to fight the fire. One civilian mariner was severely injured during the attack,” the US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement.

“Aircraft from USS Philippine Sea (CG 58) medically evacuated the injured mariner to a partner force ship nearby for medical attention,” CENTCOM said.

“This continued reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Huthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.”

The Huthis on Thursday said they had carried out attacks on three ships within the past 24 hours, including on the Verbena, “in retaliation to the crimes committed against our people in the Gaza Strip, and in response to the American-British aggression against our country.”

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) meanwhile reported an explosion close to a merchant vessel in the Red Sea about 80 nautical miles northwest of Yemen’s rebel-held Hodeida port, with no damage or casualties.

The Huthis, who are at war with a Saudi-led coalition after ousting the government from Sanaa in 2014, have launched scores of drone and missile attacks on shipping vessels in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden since November.

The first reported fatalities from the attacks on ships occurred in the Gulf of Aden in March.

On Wednesday, the Houthis struck the Tutor, a Liberian-flagged bulk carrier, southwest of Hodeida. They claimed to have used seaborne and aerial drones, and ballistic missiles. CENTCOM later said the Tutor had been struck by a Houthi “unmanned surface vessel” that “caused severe flooding and damage to the engine room”

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