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Wednesday, March 3, 2021

Qatar condemns ‘sabotage’ attack on oil tanker off Saudi coast

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A fuel transport ship was attacked by a boat containing explosives in Riyadh’s port on Monday in a “terrorist” assault, with no casualties reported and no one claiming it yet.

Qatar condemned the Monday attack on a Singapore-flagged oil tanker off Jeddah coast in Saudi Arabia, describing it as “an act of sabotage”.

In a statement released on Tuesday by Doha’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs [MOFA], Qatar said the incident violated “all international norms and laws”, warning of the potential impact on international energy markets.

While reports did not mention severe damage or casualties among the 22 sailors on board, the BW Rhine tanker’s owner confirmed the attack did result in a “small fire” that was instantly extinguished.

The Riyadh port is one of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent distribution centres for oil trade, and has also been the subject of security incidents, mainly by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group.

Read also: Qatar condemns attacks in Saudi Arabia, France

On November 25, a similar attack was carried out against a Greek-manged tanker in the Saudi port of Shuqaiq, with Riyadh blaming Houthi rebels for the assault.

The attacks come amid an ongoing and devastating conflict in Yemen that pits the Houthi rebels against the government and its Saudi-led coalition allies. More than 100,000 people have been killed in what the UN has described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Last month, the rebels claimed a missile attack on Saudi’s Aramco oil company, one of the largest in the world.

Qatar has repeatedly condemned attacks on Saudi Arabia and has renewed its firm position against violence and terrorism in the region.

Both countries are also currently heading towards a potential resolution to end the three-year-long dispute between them that was triggered when Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt announced a blockade on Qatar in 2017. 


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