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New Delhi: In the second such incident, an India-linked commercial crude oil tanker MV Sai Baba, with 25 Indian crew members, came under a drone attack on Saturday in the Southern Red Sea.

The incident came to light after the US Central Command tweeted about it on Sunday, saying that MV Sai Baba was targeted by a drone launched by Houthi militants in the southern Red Sea.

MV Sai Baba is a Gabonflagged vessel and it had received a certification from the Indian register of shipping, said Indian Navy sources.

The US Central Command had initially described the vessel as an Indian-flagged tanker.

"A second vessel, the M/V Sai Baba, a Gabon-owned, Indian-flagged crude oil tanker, reported that it was hit by a one-way attack drone with no injuries reported," the US Central Command had said.

The vessel was reportedly on its way to India. "The crew is Indian and there have been no casualties," said official sources here. This comes on top of another India-bound commercial tanker MV Chem Plutobeing attacked by a drone, also on Saturday, in the Arabian Sea off India’s west coast.

The incident happened 200 nautical miles southwest of Veraval (Gujarat). The Pentagon claimed that MV chem pluto was



hit by drone launched from Iran.

The Indian Navy has launched an investigation in the attack on MV Chem Pluto. "The Motor Vessel chem pluto, a Liberia-flagged, Japanese-owned, and Netherlands-operated chemical tanker was struck at approximately 10 am local time (6 am GMT) today in the Indian Ocean, 200 nautical miles from the coast of India, by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran," a Pentagon spokesperson said.

The Indian Navy and Coast Guard had immediately sent their aircraft and ships to assist the chem pluto. Coast Guard vessel Vikram is escorting chem pluto to Mumbai.

"Naval Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) specialists will be embarking MV chem pluto on arrival at Mumbai to sanitise the vessel and undertake further investigations," the Indian Navy said in a statement on Sunday.

The Liberian-flagged oil tanker had last called in Saudi Arabia and was destined for India at the time of incident. The vessel was going towards Mangaluru.

The Houthi rebels have been attacking Israel bound commercial shipping with drones and missiles in support of the Palestinians, forcing shippers to change course and take longer routes around the southern tip of Africa.




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