Brit dead in horror attack on Israeli oil tanker amid mystery piracy incident

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A British crew member was among two workers killed in an attack on an oil tanker off Oman, the firm managing the vessel has said.

A Romanian national was also killed onboard the ship managed by Zodiac Maritime, with the company run by Israeli businessman Eyal Ofer claiming it is a “suspected piracy" incident.

It comes amid a shadow war being waged between Israel and Iran which has seen frequent attacks on vessels around the Arabian peninsula in the last three years.

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation is underway, adding that it did not suspect piracy.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "We are aware of reports of an attack on a merchant vessel off the coast of Oman. UK military headquarters in the region are currently conducting investigations."

Zodiac Maritime wrote on Twitter: "At the time of the incident the vessel was in the northern Indian Ocean, travelling from Dar es Salaam (in Tanzania) to Fujairah (in the UAE) with no cargo onboard.

"We are coordinating and liaising with the UK MTO (Maritime Trade Operations) and other relevant authorities.

"We will provide information as it becomes available."

Tankers linked to Israel and other US allies have been targeted by attacks around the Arabian peninsula dating back to 2019.

In May 2019 a series of explosions and fires on oil tankers linked to both Iran and Saudi Arabia around the peninsula brought the two sides close to war.

The blasts began when four tankers were damaged near the coast of UAE. American intelligence agencies backed by the UK later accused Iran of attaching limpet mines to the side of the tankers, blowing holes in the hull which sparked the blaze.

Oman did not immediately acknowledge an attack.

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