Riyadh says tanker explosion was a terror attack

      Published on Thursday, 17 December , 2020      914 Views     
Riyadh says tanker explosion was a terror attack

  • Government

An explosion that hit an oil product tanker that was unloading in Saudi Arabia was a terrorist attack, according to the kingdom’s Energy Ministry.

“The attack resulted in a small fire, which emergency units successfully extinguished,” a ministry spokesperson told the state news agency SPA.

“The incident did not result in any casualties and there was no damage caused to the unloading facilities, nor any effect on supplies.”

Saudi Arabia said the Singapore-flagged vessel, named BW Rhine, was targeted by an explosive-laden boat on the morning of 14 December.

The vessel is operated by the Singapore-based company Hafnia, which is part of BW Group.

The ship is a Panamax tanker, which had been moored at berth since 12 December.

Panamax tankers usually carry refined products and have a deadweight tonnage (DWT) capacity of between 60,000 and 80,000.

In a statement, Hafnia said that the explosion caused a fire onboard the ship.

It said that discharge operations were immediately stopped and emergency measures were taken in the wake of the explosion.

The crew extinguished the fire with the help of a shore-based fire brigade and tug boats.

The hull of the ship and water ballast tanks were damaged in the blast, but all 22 crew members were unharmed in the incident.

The attack has been condemned by several governments.

Bahrain’s foreign ministry said: “This aggressive terrorist act poses a serious threat to vital installations in Saudi Arabia and the entire region, and affects the security and safety of maritime navigation”.

The UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar also condemned the attack.

Previous incidents

The attack is the latest in a series of attacks targeting Saudi oil infrastructure.

On 25 November, an explosion damaged a Greek-managed tanker while at berth in the Saudi port of Shuqaiq.

The kingdom blamed Yemen’s Houthi rebels for the mine attack.

The Houthis, who are fighting a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, did not comment on the incident.

The rebel group, however, did claim a missile attack that struck a Saudi Aramco oil company distribution station in Jeddah on 23 November.

Category Government | 2020/12/17 latest update at 12:00 PM
Source : MEED | Photocredit : Google
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