A remotely piloted boat packed with explosives targeted the Saudi port of Yanbu in the Red Sea on Tuesday, the kingdom said, with the blast sending black smoke into the sky off the coast.
Saudi Arabia claimed to have intercepted and destroyed the attack boat. However, private security firms suggested commercial traffic near the port may have been hit in the assault.
The state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted Saudi military spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki saying the port was targeted by the drone boat.
“The booby-trapped boat was dealt and destroyed according to the rules of engagement,” the report quoted al-Maliki as saying, without providing evidence to support his claim.
A Saudi defense ministry statement on state media did not say whether there had been any damage as a result of the operation.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, run by the British navy, simply said it was “aware of reports of an incident” and that investigations were ongoing. Private maritime security firm Dryad Global said it had reports that a ship had been “attacked,” without elaborating.