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    Iran confirms attack on its ship in Red Sea

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    An Iranian civilian ship, the Saviz, was attacked in the Red Sea on Tuesday resulted in “minor” damage to the vessel, Foreign Ministry spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh, said yesterday.

    “The explosion occurred at about 6 a.m. on Tuesday near the Djibouti coast and caused minor damage with no casualties,” Khatibzadeh said in a statement, adding that “the vessel was a civilian ship stationed there to secure the region against pirates.”

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    “The Saviz civilian ship was stationed in the Red Sea region and the Gulf of Aden to establish maritime security along the shipping lanes and to counter piracy,” he said, adding: “This ship practically acted as a logistics station for Iran in the Red Sea, and therefore the specifications and mission of this ship had previously been officially announced.”

    The Iranian official said Tehran had informed the International Maritime Organisation of the United Nations of the attack, noting that “the issue is under investigation”.

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    The New York Timesreported yesterday that Israel was responsible for the attack.

    The paper cited an unnamed senior US official as saying that Tel Aviv had informed Washington that its forces had struck the Iranian cargo ship affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps in retaliation for earlier Iranian strikes on Israeli vessels.

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