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Explosion reported at Iranian oil tanker off Jeddah

Explosion reported at Iranian oil tanker off Jeddah

An explosion set an Iranian oil tanker on fire in the Red Sea, news reports said on Friday, and analysts said they believed it was a "terrorist attack".

The hull of the Sabiti was hit by two separate explosions about 100 kilometers off the Saudi port city of Jeddah, the state-owned company said on October 11.

State television said the explosion damaged two storerooms aboard the unnamed oil tanker and caused an oil leak into the Red Sea, without elaborating further.

It said the blasts were "probably caused by missile strikes".

Iran's national tanker company (NITC) says the fire has been put out and the oil spillage reduced to a minimum, Iranian news site Iran Front Page reports.

NIOC, which once ranked second after Saudi Aramco in terms of crude oil extraction, has told state-run IRNA news agency that the vessel has been hit by what appears to be a missile attack.

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"None of the crew members were injured at the explosion. the situation is under control", the news agency, close to Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps, reported.

The tanker is located on the Red Sea near the port in Jeddah.

An Iranian oil tanker has exploded and is burning off the coast of Saudi Arabia.

USA officials have also accused Tehran of being responsible for attacks on two oil tankers in the Persian Gulf in June and July, as well as attacks on another four tankers in May.

Iran denied involvement in all the incidents.

Saudi Arabia, which has been bogged down in a five-year war across its southern border in Yemen, too has apparently blamed Iran for the "unquestionably sponsored" attacks.