Israeli-owned ship hit by missile in suspected Iranian attack -Israeli official

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) -A cargo ship owned by an Israeli company was damaged by a missile in the Arabian Sea on Thursday in what was suspected to be an Iranian attack, an Israeli security official said.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the ship was on its way from Tanzania to India and was able to continue its voyage after the attack.

The official did not provide further details.

According to Israel's Ynet news website, the ship sailing under a Liberian flag did not sustain serious damage and Channel 12 news reported the ship is owned by XT Management, based in the port city of Haifa.

Reuters could not reach officials at the company for comment. Israeli government officials had no official comment.

Maritime security company Dryad Global said it suspected, though could not confirm, that the vessel involved in the alleged attack was the container ship MT LORI.

It said the ship, while en route to the Indian port Mundra from Dar Es Salaam, came to a full stop and drifted for about three hours, before continuing its journey at about its original speed.

It comes about a month after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Iran for an explosion aboard an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman.

The vehicle-carrier MV Helios Ray was hit between the night of Feb. 25 and morning of Feb. 26 by a blast above the water line that a U.S. official said ripped holes in both sides of its hull. An Israeli official said limpet mines were used.

Iran denied involvement at the time. “We strongly reject this accusation,” said Saeed Khatibzadeh, spokesman for the Foreign Ministry in Tehran.

(Reporting by Dan Williams and Ari Rabinovitch in Jerusalem and Jonathan Saul in LondonEditing by William Maclean and Matthew Lewis)