US says civilian mariner injured in Houthi attack on cargo vessel

Washington, Jun 14 (IANS/DPA): A civilian mariner on board a trade ship in the Gulf of Aden has been severely injured as the vessel was hit in an attack carried out by Yemen's Houthi rebels, the US Central Command (CENTCOM) has said in a statement.

The worker has been transferred to a nearby vessel for medical attention, CENTCOM wrote on X on Thursday. The nationality of the man was initially unclear.

"This continued reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden," CENTCOM wrote.

Fire broke out on the trade ship described as "a Palauan-flagged, Ukrainian-owned, Polish-operated bulk cargo carrier", after it was attacked by two cruise missiles, according to the US command.

Crew were still fighting the flames, it said.

According to CENTCOM, the M/V Verbena had been en route from Malaysia to Italy "carrying wood construction material."

Since the start of the Gaza war in October, Houthi militants have repeatedly fired on merchant ships in the Red Sea and the adjoining Gulf of Aden, a critical shipping route that connects to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal.

The militants have said the attacks are intended to support Palestinian militant group Hamas by making it more difficult for cargo ships to reach Israel.

In response to the attacks, the United States and the UK have carried out several military strikes against Houthi positions in Yemen.

The European Union has also launched a military operation to protect merchant shipping in the Red Sea.



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Title: US says civilian mariner injured in Houthi attack on cargo vessel

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