The confirmation comes hours after the Saudi-led coalition said the Houthi militia hijacked a ship carrying medical equipment for a Saudi field hospital on Socatra Island in Yemen.

Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, regularly announce rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories.
Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, regularly announce rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories. (Reuters Archive)

Yemeni rebels have confirmed they had seized an Emirati-flagged vessel in the Red Sea, saying it carried "military supplies" after the Saudi-led coalition accused the insurgents of "piracy".

The vessel "entered Yemeni waters without authorisation" and was carrying out "hostile acts", the rebels' military spokesman Yahya Saree said on Monday, on Twitter.

Earlier today, the Saudi-led coalition accused the Houthi rebels of hijacking a cargo vessel off the coast of Hudaydah in western Yemen.

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In a statement, the coalition said the Houthi militia hijacked a ship carrying medical equipment for a Saudi field hospital on Socatra Island in Yemen.

“This piracy shows the danger posed by the Houthi militia to navigation in the Bab el-Mandeb Strait,” the statement said.

For its part, the British Royal Navy's Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said it received reports of an attack on a vessel near Yemen's port of Ras Isa on the Red Sea.

UKMTO advised ships in the area to exercise extreme caution.

Regular attacks

Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, regularly announce rocket and drone attacks on Saudi territories, saying they are a reaction to the Saudi-led coalition’s assault on Yemen.

Yemen has been engulfed by violence and instability since 2014, when Houthi rebels captured much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.

READ MORE: Houthis target Saudi-led Yemen coalition camp in missile strike

A Saudi-led coalition aimed at reinstating the Yemeni government has worsened the situation, causing one of the world’s worst man-made humanitarian crises, with nearly 80 percent or about 30 million people needing humanitarian assistance and protection and more than 13 million in danger of starvation, according to UN estimates.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies