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Houthi Missile Hits Ship in Gulf of Aden, 3 Killed, 4 Injured

In Dubai, a significant event unfolded as a missile, fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels, struck the M/V True Confidence in the Gulf of Aden. The incident resulted in three fatalities and at least four injuries, marking the first confirmed deaths from Houthi attacks on merchant vessels. The vessel, a Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned bulk carrier, suffered extensive damage. The crew abandoned the ship, and coalition warships, in response, are assessing the situation.

The US Central Command (CENTCOM) issued a statement, condemning the Houthi attacks that have been ongoing for months, targeting merchant vessels transiting the vital Red Sea trade route. This latest attack represents the fifth time the Houthis launched an anti-ship ballistic missile in just two days. CENTCOM emphasized that these "reckless attacks" have disrupted global trade and resulted in the loss of lives of international seafarers.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree claimed that the True Confidence was targeted with multiple missiles after the crew rejected warning messages. In response to the attack, CENTCOM reported conducting strikes against two unmanned aerial vehicles in a Houthi-controlled area of Yemen, citing an imminent threat to merchant vessels and U.S. Navy ships.

The United States and Britain have been actively responding to Houthi attacks, launching strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen since January. Despite these efforts, the rebels persist in targeting merchant vessels, raising concerns about the safety of international shipping. The British embassy in Sanaa confirmed at least two deaths on board the True Confidence, attributing the loss of life to the Houthi's indiscriminate firing of missiles at international shipping.

The Houthis initiated their campaign of attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea in November, citing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. Their threats include striking Israeli, British, and American ships, as well as vessels heading to Israeli ports, further disrupting traffic through the crucial trade route off Yemen's shores.

This latest incident adds to the challenges faced by major shipping firms, prompting some to suspend passage through the Red Sea. This route traditionally handles around 12% of global trade, highlighting the broader economic impact of the Houthi actions on international commerce. The situation underscores the ongoing complexities and risks associated with maritime activities in the region, requiring continued vigilance and international responses to ensure the safety of seafarers and the security of global trade routes.

March 7, 2024 1:27 p.m. 13292

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