UAE reports 'acts of sabotage' against boats off coast
The United Arab Emirates said on Sunday four merchant vessels had been targeted by "acts of sabotage" in Gulf waters off its coast, amid rising tensions between neighbouring Iran and the US.
"Four commercial, civilian trading vessels of various nationalities this morning suffered acts of sabotage" off the UAE's eastern coast, its foreign ministry said in a statement.
Without naming who was responsible, the statement added that no injuries or casualties had taken place in the incident.
Earlier in the day, Emirati authorities denied reports that explosions took place at the port of Fujairah in the east of the country.
The reports come days after the US sent an aircraft carrier and bombers to the Middle East, as Washington reiterated that intelligence reports suggested Iran was planning some sort of attack in the region.
Washington has not elaborated on the alleged threat, drawing criticism that it is overreacting and unnecessarily driving up tensions in the region.
The increasing tensions come as Tehran said on Wednesday it had stopped respecting limits on its nuclear activities agreed under a 2015 deal with major powers.
Iran said it was responding to the sweeping unilateral sanctions that Washington has re-imposed since it quit the agreement one year ago, which have dealt a severe blow to the Iranian economy.
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