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Israeli cargo ship hit by ‘unexplained explosion’ in Gulf of Oman

An Israeli cargo ship has been struck by an unexplained explosion while sailing in the Gulf of Oman.

The crew were uninjured but the stricken vessel, believed to be MV Helios Ray – a Bahaman-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle carrier – was forced to head to the nearest port.

Satellite-tracking data from website showed the Helios Ray was close to entering the Arabian Sea at around 10am local time (6am GMT) on Friday when it suddenly turned around and began heading back toward the Strait of Hormuz.

Singapore was still listed as the destination for the vessel on its tracker. 

The ship is owned by Tel Aviv-based firm Ray Shipping Ltd.

While the circumstances of the blast remain unexplained, Dryad Global, a maritime intelligence firm, said it was very possible the blast stemmed from “asymmetric activity by Iranian military”.

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