3 killed in first fatal Houthi attack on Red Sea shipping, CENTCOM says

LONDON – A Houthi missile attack killed three seafarers on a Red Sea merchant ship on Wednesday, US Central Command (CENTCOM) says, the first fatalities reported since the Iran-aligned Yemeni group began strikes against shipping in one of the world’s busiest trade lanes.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, which set the Greek-owned, Barbados-flagged ship True Confidence ablaze around 50 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen’s port of Aden.

In an earlier message on X responding to the Houthi claim, Britain’s embassy wrote: “At least 2 innocent sailors have died. This was the sad but inevitable consequence of the Houthis recklessly firing missiles at international shipping. They must stop.”

The Houthis have been attacking ships in the Red Sea since November in what they say is a campaign in solidarity with Palestinians during the war in Gaza, triggered by Hamas’s October 7 massacre.

Britain and the United States have been launching retaliatory strikes against the Houthis, and the confirmation of fatalities could lead to pressure for stronger military action.

CENTCOM says the Houthi strike also injured at least four crew members and caused “significant damage” to the ship. Earlier, a shipping source said four mariners had been severely burned and three were missing after the attack.

The Greek operators of the True Confidence said the vessel was drifting and on fire. They said no information was available about the status of the 20 crew and three armed guards on board, who included 15 Filipinos, four Vietnamese, two Sri Lankans, an Indian and a Nepali national.

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