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WASHINGTON (AP) — A group of five militants who seized another commercial ship near Yemen were likely Somali and not Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and were captured by U.S. forces after fleeing the MV Central Park in the Gulf of Aden on Sunday, Pentagon press secretary Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder told reporters on Monday.
Ballistic missiles had been fired shortly after from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, and the Pentagon has not ruled out that the Houthis were somehow linked to the Somali-conducted attack.
The attacks on commercial vessels have previously been conducted by Houthis and are part of a larger rise in violence in the region due to the Israel-Hamas war.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government in Aden has said this was a Houthi attack on the Central Park, a Liberian-flagged ship managed by Zodiac Maritime. The ship sent out a distress call and forces from the USS Mason, an American destroyer, responded.