Two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, according to a UK maritime security report. A similar incident in the region was reported last month when four oil tankers were attacked.
The incident took place near the coast of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) near the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
One of the two ships, the tanker 'Front Altair' managed by a Bermuda-owned shipping company Frontline, suffered a fire on Thursday morning while sailing through the southern end of the Strait of Hormuz. While the cause of the fire is yet to be ascertained, a spokesperson of the company told CNN that all the 23 crew members were evacuated and safe.
The Iran state media, on the other hand, reported that the Front Altair had sunk, reported The Guardian.
The vessel was identified as an oil tanker that was transporting Naptha (a type of crude oil) and was on its way to Taiwan.
The other ship, Kokuka Courageous was reportedly attacked "thrice" with "some sort of shell" according to the spokesperson of the Japanese ship, reported CNN. All 21 crew members on board were evacuated in which one was reported to be injured.
The ship was reportedly a goods carrier and was carrying methanol and was on route to Singapore, reported CNN. However, according to Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, both tankers were carrying "Japan-related cargo."
Managed by the Singapore based company BSM, a company spokesperson said that the ship remains in the area and is not in danger of sinking.
Michio Yuube, the co-manager of company Kokuka Sangyo said that the vessel was "first shot above sea level and then caught fire briefly before the blaze was extinguished".
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif Tweeted that "suspicious doesn't begin to describe" the incident as it happened on the day Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on a state visit to Iran to meet Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Reported attacks on Japan-related tankers occurred while PM @AbeShinzo was meeting with Ayatollah @khamenei_ir for extensive and friendly talks.— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) June 13, 2019
Suspicious doesn't begin to describe what likely transpired this morning.
Iran's proposed Regional Dialogue Forum is imperative.
On June 6, according to the international investigation, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Norway told the United Nations Security Council in an informal meeting that there are "strong indications that the four attacks were part of a sophisticated and coordinated operation carried out with significant operational capacity.'
Out of the four vessels attacked on May 12, two belonged to Saudi Arabia, while the remaining were owned by the UAE and Norway. The investigation did not mention the name of any country responsible behind the attack.