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UAE says four commercial ships sabotaged east of Fujairah

Dubai — The UAE government said Sunday that four commercial vessels suffered "sabotage" in the Gulf of Oman, east of the bunkering terminal of Fujairah, in an incident it described as a serious development.

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The four ships were "subjected to sabotage operations today," reported the official Emirates News Agency (WAM) without providing further details on the nature of the incident.

There were no injuries, or chemical spills, but the incident was being treated as a "serious development", WAM said citing a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

"The Ministry also described 'baseless and unfounded' rumours earlier today of incidents taking place within the Port of Fujairah," said WAM.

All port operations are continuing as normal, said WAM.

Tensions have risen in the region since US waivers ended on Iran's shipments of crude. The US has reasserted its commitment to safeguard shipping in the region in response to Iranian threats to disrupt the Strait of Hormuz, the world's biggest crude shipping chokepoint.

A spokesperson for the US Navy in the Persian Gulf was unreachable for comment.

-- Andy Critchlow,

-- Miriam Malek,

-- Edited by Andy Critchlow,