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Coalition thwarts new Houthi sea mining attempt

Terror plot included using booby-trapped boats, divers

Manama: An imminent Houthi attack to target international shipping lines and trade had been foiled, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting for legitimacy in Yemen announced on Saturday.

The plot was foiled after Coalition forces hit Houthi gatherings on the Yemeni island of Bawadi while they were planning hostile acts against international maritime lines, Coalition Spokesman Turki Al Malki was reported as saying by Sky News Arabic sources.

“The impending attack included plans to use booby-trapped boats and a group of divers to plant naval mines,” Al Malki said.

Houthi militias have resorted to setting mines near Yemen's coastline in the Red Sea and Bab Al Mandab Strait with total disregard for human lives and putting international maritime trade at high risk.

The Coalition has discovered and dismantled naval mines on several occasions since January this year.

The naval mines near Yemen, believed to have been sourced from Iran, are a significant threat to merchant shipping using the busy Red Sea shipping lanes.

In February, the US Maritime Administration warned that Houthi militias were suspected of having placed mines in the vicinity of Mokha port and in March, the US Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) warned merchant ships of the dangers of mines in Bab Al Mandeb, near the port entrance.

The 25-kilometre wide Bab Al Mandab is one of the most crowded waterways for oil transportation in the Middle East. The strategic waterway is used by merchant ships to sail from the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea, and then to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea. 

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