ADEN, Yemen, Nov. 26 (Xinhua) -- Unknown attackers suspected of belonging to the Yemeni Houthi militia seized a commercial oil tanker off the coast of Aden on Sunday, a Coast Guard official told Xinhua.
The Yemeni official, who asked to remain anonymous, said a Liberian-flagged ship, owned by an Israeli company, was intercepted by suspected Houthi militants aboard fishing boats 50 nautical miles off the coast of Aden earlier this morning.
He clarified that the gunmen, using fishing boats, intercepted the tanker, boarded it and took control of it. The official believed the hijackers were members of the Houthi group.
Another official of the Yemeni Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation, who also required anonymity, revealed that the captured tanker began to move away from its original location after the seizure.
Efforts to communicate with the tanker, including calls from a Japanese warship this afternoon, have been unsuccessful as the ship's automatic identification system was reportedly nonfunctional, according to the official.
This incident came just a week after another high-profile seizure in the region. On Nov. 19, the Houthi group claimed to have captured an "Israeli cargo ship" in the Red Sea.
The Houthi group linked their action to the ongoing conflict in the Gaza Strip, which started on Oct. 7.
The Houthi militia controls much of Yemen's north, including the strategic Red Sea port city of Hodeidah since the Yemeni civil war erupted in late 2014. ■