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Saudi Arabia says two of its oil tankers attacked near UAE waters

DUBAI/LONDON Saudi Arabia said yesterday that two Saudi oil tankers were among vessels targeted by a "sabotage attack" off the coast of the United Arab Emirates, condemning it as an attempt to undermine the security of global crude supplies.

The UAE said on Sunday that four commercial vessels were sabotaged near Fujairah emirate, one of the world's largest bunkering hubs lying just outside the Strait of Hormuz. It did not say who was behind the operation, which took place amid heightened tensions between the US and Iran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry called the incidents "worrisome and dreadful" and asked for an investigation. The strait, a vital global oil and gas shipping route, separates the Gulf states and Iran, which has been embroiled in an escalating war of words with the US over sanctions and the US military's presence in the region.

Oil prices rose yesterday, with Brent crude futures trading at US$70.98 (S$97) a barrel.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih said in a statement that one of the two Saudi vessels attacked was on its way to be loaded with Saudi crude from Ras Tanura port for delivery to state-owned Saudi Aramco's customers in the US. - REUTERS

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