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US-owned bulk carrier approached by drones off Yemen -British security firm

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CAIRO (Reuters) - British maritime security firm Ambrey on Thursday said that a Marshall Islands-flagged US-owned bulk carrier reported that four unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) approached and circled the vessel approximately 87 miles southeast of Yemen's city of Mukalla.

"One of the UAVs reportedly fell into the water. No damage or injuries were reported. The bulker was not impacted and continued its voyage," Ambrey said in an advisory note.

The maritime security firm said that the drones remained in the bulker's vicinity, highlighting that it's the second incident involving the vessel, which was not named.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) also said it received a report of an incident 85 nautical miles South East of Yemen's Ash Shihr. It provided no further details.

Attacks by Yemen's Houthi militia on ships in the region since November have slowed trade between Asia and Europe, and alarmed major powers.

The Iran-allied Houthis, who control most of Yemen, say they are acting in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and have threatened to expand their attacks.

In response, the United States and Britain conducted a series of strikes on Houthi targets to degrade their ability to carry out attacks in the Red Sea.

(Reporting by Yomna Ehab and Hatem Maher; Editing by Chris Reese and Mark Porter)