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Israeli-managed tanker attacked off Oman, motive unclear

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By Reuters
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DUBAI – A petroleum products tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime came under attack on Thursday in the Arabian Sea, off the Omani coast, the company said on Friday in what it described as suspected piracy.

But the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), which provides maritime security information, said earlier it was not piracy.

London-based Zodiac said on its website the Mercer Street, a Japanese-owned ship, was attacked. Zodiac is owned by Israel’s Ofer family, according to the website.

The UKMTO said the vessel was about 152 nautical miles (280 km) northeast of the Omani port of Duqm when it was attacked. It gave no more details on the type of vessel, any cargo, to whom it belonged or about possible casualties.

According to Eikon’s ship tracking, the Mercer Street, a medium-size tanker, was headed to Fujairah, a bunkering port and oil terminal in the United Arab Emirates, from Dar es Salaam, in Tanzania.

Iran and Israel have traded accusations over the past months of attacking each other’s vessels.