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Yemen's Houthis launch attacks at six ships in three seas

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Yemen's Houthis launched attacks at six ships in three different seas, including the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Laax that was damaged after reporting a Houthi missile strike off the coast of Yemen, the Iran-backed group said on Wednesday.

The Maersk Hartford © Ship Spotting 

Yemen's Houthis launched attacks at six ships in three different seas, including the Marshall Islands-flagged bulk carrier Laax that was damaged after reporting a Houthi missile strike off the coast of Yemen, the Iran-backed group said on Wednesday.

The Laax was attacked on Tuesday. The Houthis also launched attacks against the Morea and Sealady vessels in the Red Sea, the Alba and Maersk Hartford in the Arabian Sea and the Minvera Antonia in the Mediterranean, military spokesperson Yahya Saree said in a televised speech.

The Laax, which was carrying a cargo of grain, was hit by five missiles fired from Yemen, but the vessel was still able to sail to its destination and the crew were safe, the ship's security company, LSS-SAPU, told Reuters on Wednesday.

"The vessel has sustained damage, she is not taking water, she is not tilting and there are no wounded onboard," a LSS-SAPU spokesperson said.

"She is proceeding to her destination with a normal speed."

The spokesperson with LSS-SAPU, which was responsible for evacuating the crew from the Rubymar ship which sank after being hit by a Houthi missile earlier this year, said Laax's Greece based owner had no connection with Israel or the United States.

The vessel last reported its position on May 28 with a destination of Bandar Imam Khomeini in Iran, LSEG shipping data showed.

The Houthis, who describe their attacks as acts of solidarity with Palestinians in Israel's war in Gaza, have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea region since November, later expanding to the Indian Ocean.

They promised to attack any ships sailing towards Israeli ports, even in the Mediterranean.

The group has managed to sink one ship, the Rubymar, seized another vessel, killed two crew members and disrupted global shipping by forcing vessels to avoid the nearby Suez Canal and reroute trade around Africa.

(Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, Clauda Tanios and Jonathan Saul; Editing by Michael Georgy, Nick Macfie, William Maclean)

Reporting by Nayera Abdallah, Clauda Tanios and Jonathan Saul

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