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Pirates attack British tanker in Gulf of Aden

Coalition warships have responded after a UK flag-waving oil tanker was attacked.

The pirates attacked the tanker, named the Stolt Apal, and fired at them at around 12.30pm UK time.

The incident occured in the Gulf of Aden off of the coast of Yemen.

The tanker had originated in Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia and was travelling through the Persian Gulf carrying chemicals at the time.

It was attacked by two speedboats some 75 nautical miles off of the Yemen coast in the Bab al-Mandab waterway, deemed to be one of the most dangerous stretches of water on earth.

Reports state that the attack was repulsed after some gunfire between the pirates and the ship’s security team.

The tanker sustained damage but no one was injured.

“After multiple warning shots were fired by the armed guard team on board Stolt Apal, the skiffs opened fire on the ship. The armed guard team returned fire, disabling one skiff and ending the pursuit,” a company spokesman told journalists in emailed comments.

“A coalition warship [also] responded and Stolt Apal has resumed her voyage,” the spokesman said.

British officials were not immediately available for comment.

Initial reports of the attack were made following a warning notice issued by the UK Maritime Trade Operations agency.

The agency, which is run by the Department for Transport, advised vessels transiting the area “to exercise extreme caution”.

Maritime security outfit Dryad Global said it was the 9th reported incident in the Gulf of Aden this year.

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