Explosion sets Iranian oil tanker ablaze in Red Sea

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The Nour news agency, believed to be close to the Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the crew of the oil tanker was safe.

The U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which oversees the region, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Associated Press.

An explosion aboard an Iranian tanker has set the NIOC-owned vessel on fire near the Saudi port city of Jeddah, according to the ISNA.

Strikes on Abqaiq - the world's largest oil processing facility - and the Khurais oil field in eastern Saudi Arabia left crude oil output by the world's top exporter slashed in half.

The National Iran Oil Company said a supertanker called Sinopa was hit by two missiles around 60 miles from the port of Jeddah, leaving it badly damaged.

The ship's two main storage tanks are said to be damaged, causing an oil spill into the Red Sea, but no-one was injured.


Friday's incident could push tensions between Iran and the USA even higher, more than a year after President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew America from the nuclear deal and imposed sanctions now crushing Iran's economy.

Last month, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles hit a major oil field and processing facility in Saudi Arabia, which blamed Iran for the attack.

Iran has denied involvement in the attack, claiming it was a "legitimate defense" from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

It said the attack happened early on Friday morning.

The state-run IRNA news agency and other Iranian media relied on an online report, while the semi-official ISNA news agency quoted an anonymous source with direct knowledge.

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