'At least two sailors killed' after suspected Houthi attack

At least two sailors have died after a suspected Houthi attack in the Gulf of Aden, according to the British Embassy in Yemen.

The incident marks the first time Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and surrounding areas have caused fatalities.

Earlier today, the True Confidence was hit by a missile about 50 nautical miles southwest of the Yemeni port of Aden.

In a statement on X, the British embassy wrote: "At least two innocent sailors have died.

"This was the sad but inevitable consequence of the Houthis recklessly firing missiles at international shipping.

"Our deepest condolences are with the families of those that have died and those that were wounded."

The Barbados-flagged True Confidence is no longer under the command of the crew and has been abandoned, the British military's United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations centre said separately.

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The attack came after the vessel was hailed over radio by individuals who claimed to be the military, two US officials speaking on the condition of anonymity told the Associated Press.

The full extent of damage to the Liberian-owned ship remains unclear but crew abandoned the vessel in lifeboats.

A US warship and the Indian navy, which were both on the scene, tried to assist in rescue efforts.

A Houthi military spokesman claimed the attack in a pre-recorded message and said it fired missiles to set the True Confidence ablaze.

Brig. Gen. Yahya Saree said the rebels' attacks will only stop when the "siege on the Palestinian people in the Gaza is lifted".

Foreign secretary Lord David Cameron said he was "appalled to hear about the deaths" on the True Confidence in a post on X.

He wrote: "Our thoughts are with their families. We condemn the Houthis' reckless & indiscriminate attacks on global shipping & demand they stop.

"We will continue to stand up for freedom of navigation and back our words with actions."

The Houthis began attacking ships in and around the Red Sea in October, and say their aim is to stop Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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In January, the US and UK began a series of airstrikes on the Houthis but the rebels have so far remained capable of continuing to target ships. The group has said 22 of its fighters have been killed.