Saudi Arabia says oil tankers targeted in 'sabotage attack'

UAE FM confirms four commercial vessels targeted at Fujairah port

Four commercial ships subjected to sabotage operations near UAE territorial waters, no fatalities or injuries reported

He said the two tankers were targeted off the coast of Fujairah.

"The incidents in the Sea of Oman are alarming and regrettable", Mousavi said in an English-language statement on the ministry's website.

World oil prices reacted to the news of an incident that resulted in damage to several oil tankers in the UAE, with prices rapidly increasing during the first half of the day.

The ministry also described as "baseless and unfounded" rumours earlier Sunday about incidents taking place within the Port of Fujairah, saying that operations within the port were underway as normal, without any interruption.

The reported sabotage comes amid heightened regional tensions between the United States and Iran.

A senior Iranian lawmaker said on Monday that saboteurs from a third country could be behind explosions near Fujairah port in the United Arab Emirates. It gave no indication of who might be responsible.

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Washington reimposed sanctions on Iran in November after pulling out of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers a year ago.

A fifth of global oil consumption passes through the Strait from Middle East crude producers to major markets in Asia, Europe, North America and beyond. The narrow waterway separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the strait in case of a military confrontation with the United States.

Global crude benchmark Brent for July settlement traded up U.S. 38 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to US$71 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange on Monday. -Chinese trade talks spooked investors.

A general view of the port at Fujairah is shown.

The attack did not lead to any casualties or an oil spill but caused significant damage to the structures of the two vessels, he added.

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The UAE foreign ministry said there were no casualties.

No one was hurt and Abu Dhabi called on world powers to help keep maritime traffic safe. Not even a pending announcement by index compiler MSCI Inc., which will say which stocks it will upgrade to its main emerging-market index after US markets close, was enough to pump trading and help the index recover. Turkey's benchmark index also lost about 3%.

US President Donald Trump warned Monday that Iran would "suffer greatly" were it to "do anything", after US intelligence suggested Tehran was planning to attack US interests in the region.

The strait doesn't necessarily threaten energy security in the U.S. Since the shale boom, the U.S.is now an exporter of oil and gas, not an importer, meaning the route is probably less important for global oil supply than it was in previous decades, says Charles Gurdon, managing director of Menas Associates in London.

"The worldwide community should carry out its responsibilities to prevent any parties trying to harm maritime security and safety, which would be considered a threat to global safety and security", it added.

The UAE on Sunday said the sabotage targeted four boats, without elaborating or naming suspects, reported Daily Express. Last week, Iran warned it would begin enriching uranium at higher levels in 60 days if world powers failed to negotiate new terms for the deal.

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