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Fuel tanker hit by ‘terror attack’ off Jeddah in Saudi Arabia

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An explosion on a fuel tanker at Jeddah port on Monday was a “terror attack,” a Saudi energy ministry official said on Monday.

The Singapore-flagged BW Rhine was attacked by an explosives-laden boat while unloading its cargo, according to the official.

“A fuel transport ship, anchored in the fuel terminal in Jeddah, was attacked by an explosive-laden boat in the early hours of this morning,” Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, citing the ministry spokesman.

The spokesman did not say who was behind the assault.

The explosion caused a small fire which was extinguished by crew members on board the Hafnia-owned vessel. There were no casualties reported.

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Jeddah port’s fuel unloading facilities were not damaged after the attack on the tanker, the official said.

“BW Rhine has been hit from an external source whilst discharging at Jeddah, Saudi Arabia at approximately 00:40 local time on 14 December 2020, causing an explosion and subsequent fire onboard,” a Hafnia statement said.

“It is possible that some oil has escaped from the vessel, but this has not been confirmed and instrumentation currently indicates that oil levels on board are at the same level as before the incident,” Hafnia said.

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The Saudi energy ministry source condemned “destructive terrorist acts directed against vital installations,” which they said went beyond targeting the Kingdom and its facilities but also targeted the security and stability of global energy supplies.

The leader of the Arab Parliament Dr. Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami condemned the attack, saying the targeting of oil installations and infrastructure posed a global threat to energy supplies.

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