Italian navy shoots down Houthi drone targeting cargo ship in Red Sea

ROME — An Italian navy ship shot down a drone fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels and targeting a European cargo ship, the Italian defense ministry says in a statement.

The drone was intercepted “in the late morning” near the Bab-el-Mandeb strait at the southern end of the Red Sea, the ministry says.

It was flying toward the cargo ship and taken down while it was 5 kilometers (3.11 miles) away. It was similar to other drones used in previous Houthi attacks, it says.

The cargo was targeted by other drones and missiles, with one missile exploding in water near the commercial vessel, causing only superficial damage, the ministry says.

The Italian “Fasan” frigate and the cargo it was escorting are proceeding southwards on their planned route to exit from the Red Sea, the statement adds.

Italy is part of an EU naval mission, dubbed Eunavfor Aspides, launched in February to protect shipping in the Red Sea, a major trade route.

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