Oil tanker hit by bomb-carrying drone off Oman: Official

While no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, suspicion has fallen on Iran



By AP

Published: Wed 16 Nov 2022, 1:15 PM

Last updated: Wed 16 Nov 2022, 1:54 PM

An oil tanker associated with an Israeli billionaire has been struck by a bomb-carrying drone off the coast of Oman amid heightened tensions with Iran, an official told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

The official, who said the attack happened Tuesday night, spoke on condition of anonymity as they did not have authorisation to discuss the attack publicly.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, a British military organisation in the region monitoring shipping said they were aware of the incident, and that "it’s being investigated at this time.”

The official identified the vessel attacked as the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Pacific Zircon. The tanker is operated by Singapore-based Eastern Pacific Shipping, which is a company ultimately owned by Israeli billionaire Idan Ofer.

A phone number for Eastern Pacific rang unanswered Wednesday. While no one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, suspicion has fallen on Iran.

The US also blamed Iran for a series of attacks occurring off the coast of the UAE in 2019. Tehran then had begun escalating its nuclear program following the US' unilateral withdrawal from its atomic deal with world powers.

Iranian state media did not immediately acknowledge the attack on the Pacific Zircon.

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