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Possible Mine Reportedly Found On Hull Of Oil Tanker Off Iraqi Coast

Picture taken April 17, 2006. REUTERS/Atef Hassan

Elizabeth Louise Contributor
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Sailors on an oil tanker off the coast of Iraq have discovered a suspicious object attached to the hull, according to two private security firms.

The suspicious object found on the MT Pola, a Liberian oil tanker, could be a limpet mine, the Associated Press (AP) reported.

A limpet mine is a type of naval mine placed by swimmers or divers on the underside a ship’s hull, according to The New York Times.

The firms, Ambrey Intelligence and Dryad Global, said that the investigations surrounding the suspicious object are ongoing, The Seattle Times reported.

The MT Pola, which was receiving help in the Persian Gulf off the coast of Basra, Iraq, is used by Iraq’s State Organization of Marketing of Oil to serve as a floating storage space for oil, the AP reported. Smaller boats transport the oil to the tanker, the tanker then conducts ship-to-ship transfers of the oil. (RELATED: British Special Forces Storm Tanker Suspected To Be Hijacked By Asylum-Seekers)

President Donald Trump issued a warning Dec. 23 to Iran days after a rocket attack on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, Iraq. Trump claimed in a tweet that the rockets had come from Iran.

The U.S. previously blamed Iran in 2019 for several attacks on two oil tankers that were stationed near the Strait of Hormuz. However, Iran denied being involved in those attacks.

Both the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which patrols the region surrounding the Persian Gulf, and Iraqi officials did not immediately respond on the matter, according to The Seattle Times.