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Houthis say six ships attacked in past 72 hours

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Houthi militants in Yemen said on Tuesday they had mounted six attacks on ships with drones and missiles in the last 72 hours in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

Protesters hold up rifles during a rally organized by the Houthis in support of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Sanaa, Yemen March 22, 2024. Reuters/Khaled Abdullah

Houthi militants in Yemen said on Tuesday they had mounted six attacks on ships with drones and missiles in the last 72 hours in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea.

The Houthis attacked the Maersk Saratoga, APL Detroit, and the Huang Pu after identifying them as either U.S. or British, in addition to Pretty Lady ship which they claim was heading to Israel, the group's military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said in a statement.

The Houthis, who control Yemen's capital and most populous areas, have attacked international shipping in the Red Sea since November in what they say is solidarity with Palestinians, drawing U.S. and British retaliatory strikes since last month.

Sarea added that the group also attacked two U.S destroyers in the Red Sea as well as Israel's city of Eilat.

It was not immediately clear which if any of the targets were struck by the drones or missiles.

U.S Central Command said on Sunday that Houthis fired missiles in the vicinity of M/V Huang Pu, a Chinese-owned oil tanker.

Maersk Saratoga is part of Maersk Line, Limited (MLL) which is the Danish company's U.S. subsidiary that carries significant amounts of cargo for the Department of Defense, Department of State, USAID, and other U.S. government agencies.

A spokesperson for A.P. Moller Maersk was not immediately able to comment.

According to LSEG data, APL Detroit is a Singaporean-flagged container, while Pretty Lady is a Malta-flagged handymax ship.

The Houthis' escalating drone and missile campaign against commercial shipping has choked trade through the vital Suez Canal linking Asia and Europe and forced many ships to take the longer route around Africa.

By Ahmed Elimam and Clauda Tanios

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