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Monday, May 27, 2024

DMW confirms death of 2 Filipinos in Houthi missile attack

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A Houthi missile attack killed three seafarers on a Red Sea merchant ship, two of them were Filipinos, according to the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW).

The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, which set the Greek-owned, Barbados-flagged ship True Confidence ablaze about 50 nautical miles off the coast of Yemen’s port of Aden.

In a statement, the DMW expressed sadness over the incident. The department extended its condolences to the family and kin of the slain seafarers. For reasons of privacy, information on their names and identities have been withheld.

“We are also informed that two other Filipino crewmen were severely injured in the attack on their ship. We pray for their immediate recovery,” the DMW added in its statement.

President Marcos also extended his full support and assistance to the families of the Filipino seafarers.

The DMW said it is in touch with the ship’s manning agency and shipowner to determine the conditions of the rest of the ship’s crew, particularly the remaining Filipinos onboard. The department is also coordinating their repatriation.

The government reiterates its call to shipowners with ships navigating the volatile Red Sea-Gulf of Aden sea lanes to comply strictly with the expanded “high risk areas” designation and to implement appropriate risk mitigation measures, such as rerouting vessels and deploying armed security personnel onboard such vessels.

The DMW also called for continued diplomatic efforts to de-escalate tensions and to address the causes of the current conflict in the Middle East.

Houthi military spokesman Yahya Saree wrote on social media that the True Confidence was targeted with missiles “after the ship’s crew rejected warning messages” from the rebels.

The Iran-backed group began attacking ships in the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea last November, a campaign they say is intended to signal solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza.

Manila is still seeking the release of 17 Filipinos taken hostage by the Houthis in November after the rebels seized their ship in the Red Sea. – With AFP

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