By Arab News
Four commercial vessels were targeted by “acts of sabotage” near the territorial waters of the United Arab Emirates on Sunday morning, the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement amid rising tensions between neighboring Iran and the US.
The statement added the vessels, that were targeted near Fujairah and at a distance of 115 kilometers from Iran, were “civilian trading vessels of various nationalities”, and that the UAE was investigating the incident with local and international bodies.
Rumors about ships inside the port being sabotaged were unfounded, the ministry added.
The port of Fujairah continues to operate as normal and there were no victims of the sabotage incident.
The ministry added that targeting merchant ships and threatening the lives of crew members is a “dangerous development,” and that the government considers the acts of sabotage to be a threat to the safety and security of the UAE.
The country called on the international community to prevent any party from compromising maritime safety and security.
The ministry statement was tweeted by the official news agency WAM.
Bahrain condemned the acts of sabotage, saying it was a “criminal act” that threatened maritime traffic in the region. The kingdom said it stood with the UAE.
Earlier on Sunday, the UAE emirate of Fujairah denied media reports that claimed a series of explosions had rocked its port on Sunday.
Claims from a number of news outlets, which were then shared on social media, said there had been explosions on Sunday morning and that fires had broken out on some of the docked oil tankers in the port.
Fujairah government’s media office tweeted a statement on Sunday denying there had been any explosions and that operations were continuing as normal.
It also called on media organizations to be “accurate” in their reporting and to only publish information once it was “confirmed by official sources.”
The harbor master of Fujairah port, who had been on shift at the time, also confirmed that there was no truth to the reports.