Houthi Missile Attacks Damage Ship in the Red Sea

Houthi supporters hold up their weapons during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Sanaa, Yemen, 24 May 2024. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
Houthi supporters hold up their weapons during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Sanaa, Yemen, 24 May 2024. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
TT

Houthi Missile Attacks Damage Ship in the Red Sea

Houthi supporters hold up their weapons during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Sanaa, Yemen, 24 May 2024. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB
Houthi supporters hold up their weapons during a protest in solidarity with the Palestinian people, in Sanaa, Yemen, 24 May 2024. EPA/YAHYA ARHAB

Missile attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militias twice damaged a Marshall Islands-flagged, Greek-owned ship Tuesday in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen.

The Houthis have launched a number of attacks targeting ships over Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The first attack on the bulk carrier Laax happened off the port city of Hodeidah in the southern Red Sea, near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that links it to the Gulf of Aden, according to the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center. The vessel “sustained damage” in the assault and later reported an “impact in the water in close proximity to the vessel,” the UKMTO said.

“The crew are reported safe and the vessel is proceeding to its next port of call,” the center said.

The private security firm Ambrey said the vessel reported by radio of having “sustained damage to the cargo hold and was taking on water.”

Late Tuesday night, the UKMTO reported the Laax “sustained further damage” in a second missile attack near Mokha in the Bab el-Mandeb.

The US military’s Central Command also identified the targeted ship as the Laax.

“Iranian-backed Houthis launched five anti-ship ballistic missiles (ASBM) from Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen into the Red Sea,” it said.

The ship “reported being struck by three of the missiles, but continued its voyage,” USCENTCOM added.

Central Command separately said it destroyed five Houthi drones over the Red Sea amid the attacks.

“It was determined the systems presented an imminent threat to merchant vessels in the region,” it added.



Egypt Needs to Import $1.18 Billion in Fuel to End Power Cuts, PM Says

The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
TT

Egypt Needs to Import $1.18 Billion in Fuel to End Power Cuts, PM Says

The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)
The moon is seen after the day of Strawberry Moon over old houses in Cairo, Egypt, June 22, 2024. (Reuters)

Egypt needs to import around $1.18 billion worth of mazut fuel oil and natural gas to end persistent power cuts exacerbated by consecutive heat waves, its Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly said in a televised address on Tuesday.

It hopes the shipments will arrive in full around the third week of July, by which point the government aims to stop cutting power during the remaining summer months, he added.

It has already started contracting for 300,000 tons of mazut worth $180 million to boost its strategic reserves which are expected to arrive early next week.

Egypt's government on Monday extended daily power cuts to three hours from two hours previously in response to a surge in domestic electricity consumption during the latest heat wave.

These three-hour cuts will continue until the end of June, before returning to two hours in the first half of July with the aim of stopping completely for the rest of the summer, Madbouly said on Tuesday.

Egyptian social media has lit up with complaints about the impact of the blackouts, with some saying they have been forced to purchase private power generators.

The problem has particularly affected teenagers preparing for the crucial high school certificate, with some posting about students studying by candlelight and others in coffee shops.

A wedding hall owner in the coastal city of Port Said said he would turn one of his ballrooms into a study hall.

Since July last year, load shedding linked to falling gas production, rising demand and a shortage of foreign currency has led to scheduled two-hour daily power cuts in most areas.

"We had said that we planned to end load shedding by the end of 2024... we do not have a power generation problem or a network problem, we are unable to provide fuel," Madbouly said on Tuesday.

"With the increase in consumption related to the major development and population increase, there has been a lot of pressure on our dollar resources," he added.

He said production in a neighboring country's gas field had come to a full halt for 12 hours leading to an interruption in the supply, without naming the country or the gas field.

Egypt's Abu Qir Fertilizers said on Tuesday three of its plants had halted production because their supply of natural gas was cut.