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Coronavirus
LOW Source: covid.gov.pk
Pakistan Deaths
28,767
624hr
Pakistan Cases
1,286,825
37224hr
0.82% positivity
Sindh
476,674
Punjab
443,453
Balochistan
33,506
Islamabad
107,887
KPK
180,316

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Two crew members of an oil tanker managed by a prominent Israeli businessman’s company were killed off Oman in what appears to be a drone attack, the vessel’s London-based operator and the US military said Friday, with Israel blaming Iran.

Tehran is “sowing violence and destruction,” an Israeli official said.

The Islamic Republic “is not only Israel’s problem, but it is the world’s problem. Its behaviour threatens the freedom of navigation and global commerce”, the official added.

US Navy forces came to the aid of the crew in response to an emergency distress call and saw evidence of the attack, said an American military statement.

It added that initial indications “clearly point” to a drone-style attack, and that US Navy ships were now escorting the vessel with US personnel aboard to help.

Analysts said the attack bore all the hallmarks of tit-for-tat exchanges in the “shadow war” between Israel and Iran, in which vessels linked to each nation have been targeted in waters around the Gulf.

The Israeli official warned that “our campaign against them (Iran) will continue”.

Zodiac Maritime, owned by Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer, said the incident on board the MT Mercer Street on Thursday killed one Romanian and a UK national, who was a guard for British maritime security firm Ambrey.

The vessel was in the northern Indian Ocean, travelling from Dar es Salaam to Fujairah with no cargo onboard when the attack occurred, it said.

“We are not aware of harm to any other personnel,” it said in a statement, adding that the Japanese-owned tanker was back under the control of its crew and was steaming to an undisclosed “safe location” under US naval escort.

Oman’s state news agency said the country’s navy dispatched a ship and confirmed the attack took place outside the sultanate’s territorial waters.

The United States, a key ally of Israel and arch-rival of Iran, expressed concern and said it was working to “establish the facts”.

Meir Javedanfar, an expert on Iranian diplomacy and security at Israel’s IDC Herzliya university, told AFP the attack was “most probably Iran”.

Iran’s state TV channel in Arabic Al-Alam, citing “informed regional sources”, said the attack was a “response to a recent Israeli attack” targeting an airport in central Syria. It did not provide further details.

Javedanfar said Iranians “feel badly disadvantaged when it comes to responding to attacks inside Iran which have been associated to Israel”, including an April strike on the Natanz uranium enrichment site reportedly executed by Israel.

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