Breaking news out of the Middle East where we’re seeing reports that two oil tankers have been attacked in the Gulf of Oman near Iran:

The two ships are the Front Altair and the Kokuka Courageous:

This is photo was allegedly taken aboard the Front Altair:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is actually in Iran right now (we’re not sure what “Japan-related” means):

According to the WSJ, one of the ships is owned by a Bermuda-based shipping company, the other by a Singapore-based company:

Bermuda-based shipping company Frontline Ltd. said one of its vessels, Front Altair, was on fire in the Gulf of Oman and its crew had been safely evacuated from the ship. A spokesman said the company was investigating the incident but didn’t know how the fire had started.

The crew of the Front Altair was picked up by the Hyundai Dubai. Her master was heard on the radio by other vessels saying that the “fire came from a surface attack.”

Singapore-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, which manages the second vessel, the Kokuka Courageous, said in a statement that the vessel was “damaged as a result of the suspected attack,” which damaged the hull above the water line. All 21 crew had abandoned the vessel and were safe.

It’s not clear yet what happened, but CNN is reporting the ships were “struck by some sort of shell”:

According to unconfirmed media sources, one of the tankers may have sunk:

It looks like all of the sailors abandoned ship:

The U.S. Navy is assisting both ships and crews:

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Tags: Iranoil