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Yemen's Houthi rebels target ship in the Gulf of Aden as the Eisenhower aircraft carrier heads home

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Yemen's Houthi rebels target ship in the Gulf of Aden as the Eisenhower aircraft carrier heads home
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Yemen's Houthi rebels target ship in the Gulf of Aden as the Eisenhower aircraft carrier heads home

2024-06-23 09:03 Last Updated At:09:10

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted a commercial ship traveling through the Gulf of Aden but apparently caused no damage, authorities said Saturday, in the latest strike on the shipping lane by the group.

The Houthi attack comes after the sinking this week of the ship Tutor, which marked what appears to be a new escalation by the Iranian-backed Houthis in their campaign of strikes on ships in the vital maritime corridor over the Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.

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The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An attack by Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted a commercial ship traveling through the Gulf of Aden but apparently caused no damage, authorities said Saturday, in the latest strike on the shipping lane by the group.

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

A crew member checks a helicopter in the hangar bay of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A crew member checks a helicopter in the hangar bay of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Crew members work during take off operations on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Crew members work during take off operations on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

FILE - Drawings of drones and missiles that have been shot down are painted on the fuselage of a fighter jet stationed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

FILE - Drawings of drones and missiles that have been shot down are painted on the fuselage of a fighter jet stationed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

FILE - The USS aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, also known as 'IKE', sails in the Red Sea on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

FILE - The USS aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, also known as 'IKE', sails in the Red Sea on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

Meanwhile, the U.S. military ordered the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, the aircraft carrier leading America's response to the Houthi attacks, to return home after a twice-extended tour.

The captain of the ship targeted late Friday saw “explosions in the vicinity of the vessel,” the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center said. A later briefing by the U.S.-overseen Joint Maritime Information Center said the vessel initially reported two explosions off its port side and a third one later.

“The vessel was not hit and sustained no damage,” the center said. “The vessel and crew are reported to be safe and are proceeding to their next port of call.”

The Houthis, who have held Yemen's capital, Sanaa, since 2014, claimed the attack Saturday night. Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree, a Houthi military spokesman, identified the vessel targeted as the bulk carrier Transworld Navigator.

The U.S. military separately destroyed three drone boats in the Red Sea over the last day, Central Command said.

The Houthis have launched more than 60 attacks targeting specific vessels and fired off other missiles and drones in their campaign that has killed a total of four sailors. They have seized one vessel and sunk two since November. A U.S.-led airstrike campaign has targeted the Houthis since January, with a series of strikes May 30 killing at least 16 people and wounding 42 others, the rebels say.

In March, the Belize-flagged Rubymar carrying fertilizer became the first to sink in the Red Sea after taking on water for days following a rebel attack.

The Houthis have maintained that their attacks target ships linked to Israel, the United States or Britain. However, many of the ships attacked have little or no connection to the Israel-Hamas war.

The Eisenhower, based in Norfolk, Virginia, is returning home after an over eight-month deployment in combat that the Navy says is its most intense since World War II. The San Diego-based USS Theodore Roosevelt will take the Eisenhower's place after a scheduled exercise in the Indo-Pacific, said Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder.

The Roosevelt anchored Saturday in Busan, South Korea, amid Seoul’s ongoing tensions with North Korea.

The Eisenhower had already reached the Mediterranean Sea, said a U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss ship movements. Flight-tracking data analyzed by The Associated Press showed a Sikorsky MH-60R Seahawk helicopter associated with the Eisenhower flying above the Mediterranean just off the coast of Port Said, Egypt, on Saturday night.

The Eisenhower had repeatedly been targeted by false attack claims by the Houthis during its time in the Red Sea. Saree on Saturday night claimed another attack on the carrier — but again provided no evidence to support it as the ship already had left the area. Central Command called the claim “categorically false.”

Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

The Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier is anchored in Busan, South Korea, Saturday, June 22, 2024. (Song Kyung-Seok/Pool Photo via AP)

A crew member checks a helicopter in the hangar bay of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

A crew member checks a helicopter in the hangar bay of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024.(AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Crew members work during take off operations on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

Crew members work during take off operations on the deck of the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

FILE - Drawings of drones and missiles that have been shot down are painted on the fuselage of a fighter jet stationed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

FILE - Drawings of drones and missiles that have been shot down are painted on the fuselage of a fighter jet stationed on the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower in the Red Sea on Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

FILE - The USS aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, also known as 'IKE', sails in the Red Sea on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

FILE - The USS aircraft carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower, also known as 'IKE', sails in the Red Sea on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue, File)

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

Likely Yemen Houthi rebel attack targets ship in Gulf of Aden as Eisenhower reportedly heads home

CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) — Six firefighters have died battling a bushfire in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa and another two are in a critical condition, emergency services said Monday.

Authorities said they suspect that Sunday's fire may have been started by poachers trying to trap animals to kill.

Three firefighters died at the scene of the fire near the town of Boston, around 130 kilometers (80 miles) inland from the east coast city of Durban, emergency services spokesperson Roland Robertson said. He said another three firefighters were treated and put on ventilators, but they all died soon after being admitted to the hospital.

One firefighter is still on a ventilator in the hospital, and another is also in critical condition, he said.

Robertson said some of the poachers were also believed to have been injured in the fires near private farms as wind and dry ground caused them to burn out of control. No arrests of suspected poachers were reported.

Wildfires have burned in other parts of KwaZulu-Natal for the last week due to the heat and the wind, leaving at least seven other people dead in various parts of the province, the local government has said.

The fires come as the other side of South Africa has been battered by multiple storms, bringing gale-force winds and flooding.

A series of cold fronts coming in from the Atlantic Ocean have caused widespread damage in Cape Town and surrounding areas on the southwest tip of the country over the last 10 days. Around 15,000 people have been affected and thousands of homes and other structures damaged or destroyed.

AP Africa news: https://apnews.com/hub/africa

Firemen douse a wildfire in Howick, near Durban, South Africa, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. South Africa's emergency services said Monday, July 15, 2024, that several firefighters have died battling a bushfire in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province and another few are in a critical condition. Authorities said they suspect that Sunday's fire may have been started by poachers trying to trap animals to kill. (AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Firemen douse a wildfire in Howick, near Durban, South Africa, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. South Africa's emergency services said Monday, July 15, 2024, that several firefighters have died battling a bushfire in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province and another few are in a critical condition. Authorities said they suspect that Sunday's fire may have been started by poachers trying to trap animals to kill. (AP Photo) (AP Photo)

Firemen douse a wildfire in Howick, near Durban, South Africa, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. South Africa's emergency services said Monday, July 15, 2024, that several firefighters have died battling a bushfire in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province and another few are in a critical condition. Authorities said they suspect that Sunday's fire may have been started by poachers trying to trap animals to kill. (AP Photo)

Firemen douse a wildfire in Howick, near Durban, South Africa, Wednesday, July 10, 2024. South Africa's emergency services said Monday, July 15, 2024, that several firefighters have died battling a bushfire in the eastern KwaZulu-Natal province and another few are in a critical condition. Authorities said they suspect that Sunday's fire may have been started by poachers trying to trap animals to kill. (AP Photo)

Rescue workers among damaged buildings in the Wynberg neighborhood of Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, July 11, 2024. The area was hit overnight during strong winds that blew off roofs, destroyed parts of houses and other buildings, and brought down electricity poles. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

Rescue workers among damaged buildings in the Wynberg neighborhood of Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, July 11, 2024. The area was hit overnight during strong winds that blew off roofs, destroyed parts of houses and other buildings, and brought down electricity poles. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

Water flows through Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday July 11, 2024. The South African city of Cape Town and surrounding areas have been hit by more storms, ripping roofs off houses and causing widespread flooding. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

Water flows through Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday July 11, 2024. The South African city of Cape Town and surrounding areas have been hit by more storms, ripping roofs off houses and causing widespread flooding. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

Water flows through Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday July 11, 2024. The South African city of Cape Town and surrounding areas have been hit by more storms, ripping roofs off houses and causing widespread flooding. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

Water flows through Khayelitsha, Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday July 11, 2024. The South African city of Cape Town and surrounding areas have been hit by more storms, ripping roofs off houses and causing widespread flooding. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)

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