Oil tanker crew tackle fire after projectile strike off Yemen - maritime agency

CAIRO (Reuters) -A Panama-flagged crude oil tanker caught fire after being struck by an unidentified projectile off Yemen on Saturday, in the latest attack on commercial shipping in the Red Sea.

The incident happened 23 nautical miles northwest of the Red Sea port of al-Mukha, British maritime security firm Ambrey said.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) agency also reported the incident, saying the fire was extinguished by the crew.

"Vessel and crew reported safe. Vessel continuing to next port of call," UKMTO added in an advisory note.

Ambrey said the tanker was registered under Union Maritime Ltd, a UK company, in 2019 before changing its registration details, including name and operator, last month.

"At the time of writing, she had changed course to starboard and continued on her journey to New Mangalore, India," the Ambrey statement said.

Months of attacks in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthi militants following the Israel-Hamas war have disrupted global shipping, forcing firms to re-route to longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa, and stoked fears that the war could spread to destabilise the wider Middle East.

The Houthis say their attacks are in solidarity with the Palestinians in Gaza and they will not stop until Israel ends the war and withdraws from the enclave.

The United States and Britain have launched strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen and redesignated the militia as a terrorist group.

(Reporting by Muhammad Al Gebaly and Hatem Maher; Editing by Mark Heinrich and Clelia Oziel)