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Saboteurs attack Saudi oil vessels amid Middle East tensions

Saboteurs attack Saudi oil vessels amid Middle East tensions

Riyadh, May 14 - Neftegaz.RU. The government of Saudi Arabia said 2 of its oil tankers were sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates in a move it says could seriously affect global oil supplies.

UAE officials said 4 commercial vessels had been damaged, and Saudi officials said 2 of its ships - on their way to be filled with crude oil - were sabotaged. It wasn't immediately clear if the Saudi vessels were among the 4 reported by the UAE.

The attacks come amid rising tensions in the Middle East region over new U.S. sanctions against Iran. The incidents also come after the U.S. Maritime Administration warned in an advisory Iran could go after commercial ships and oil production facilities in the area.

One of the Saudi ships had planned to deliver crude from the Port of Ras Tanura to the U.S., officials said. The report originating from the Saudi Press Agency said sabotage caused "significant damage to the structures of the 2 vessels" but did not report any deaths or spills from it.

"This attack ... aims to undermine the freedom of maritime navigation and the security of oil supplies to consumers all over the world," Saudi energy minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement."

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