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US thwarts Huthi attacks on Maersk vessel in the Red Sea

The US Central Command (Centcom) announced that US helicopters have responded to distress call launched by a commercial ship belonging to the Danish shipping company Maersk, after four Huthi boats opened fire on it.

Centcom in a Sunday statement that Huthi rebels fired light weapons at the Maersk commercial ship, and approached up to 20 meters from it.

Several rebels attempted to board it, but American helicopters returned fire in defense of the vessel.

It sank three boats, killing their crews, and the fourth boat fled the area.

The US indicated that helicopters were launched from the aircraft carriers Eisenhower and Gravely in response to distress calls from the ship “Maersk Hangzhou.”

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) received a report of an attack on a ship 60 nautical miles northwest of the Yemeni port of Hodeidah in the Red Sea.

The UKMTO said, in a warning note on Sunday, that an unidentified ship reported that it had been attacked by three boats from the port side, and fire was exchanged, and there were no casualties among the crew members, according to Reuters.

Maersk confirmed that an accident occurred involving the Maersk Hangzhou ship, after it passed through the Bab-al-Mandeb Strait on its way from Singapore towards the Red Sea.

Maersk announced the suspension of its operations for 48 hours.

The Commander of the US Navy in the Middle East, Admiral Brad Cooper, confirmed that patrols of warships from the United States, France, and Britain roamed the southern Red Sea.

He added that 1,200 ships have safely sailed through the Red Sea since the start of Operation “Prosperity Guardian.”

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