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An Iranian oil tanker was reportedly hit by missiles close to the coast of Saudi Arabia

Will Martin , Business Insider US
 Oct 11, 2019, 11:22 AM
BOSTON, MA - JUNE 22: The flag of Iran is waved at
(Photo by Jonathan Wiggs/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

  • An Iranian oil tanker was hit by missiles while sailing through the Red Sea close to the coast of Saudi Arabia Friday, Iranian media reported.
  • According to state new agency IRNA, the tanker, named as the Sabity, was hit while sailing around 60 miles (96 kilometres) from the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah.
  • The cause or source of the incident is currently unclear, Iranian media reported.
  • The incident took place just weeks after a pair of oil refineries in Saudi Arabia were hit by drone attacks, an incident that has been widely blamed in Iran.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

An Iranian oil tanker was hit by two missiles while sailing through the Red Sea close to the coast of Saudi Arabia Friday, Iranian media reported.

According to state news agency IRNA,the tanker, named as the Sabity, was hit by missiles while sailing around 60 miles (96 kilometres) from the Saudi Arabian port city of Jeddah.

The incident was also confirmed by Iranian TV network Press TV, which tweeted: "Iranian tanker set ablaze near Saudi #Jeddah possibly after being hit by 2 missiles."

Iranian news reports said that "only the body of the ship" was damaged in the incident, citing the Public Relations and International Affairs Department of National Iranian Oil Company.

"Fortunately, all crew on board are safe and sound and the ship is in a stable condition," IRNA said.

Investigators are working to determine the cause or source of the incident, it added.

The incident, which was called a "terrorist attack" by the ISNA news agency, took place just weeks after a pair of oil refineries in Saudi Arabia were hit by drone attacks, an incident that has been widely blamed on Iran.

On September 14, Abqaiq, the site of Aramco's largest oil processing plant, was struck by drones, an attack that was then followed by a second which started fires in the nearby Khurais oilfield.

The attacks were likely launched from inside Iran, according to both the US and Saudi Arabia, but Tehran has consistently denied any involvement in the incident, saying they were carried out by Yemeni Houthi rebels.

The price of oil spiked on the news, with West Texas Intermediate crude, the US benchmark, jumping more than 1.3% to $54.57 (R814.94) per barrel, according to Markets Insider data.

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