UKMTO receives report two explosions south of Yemen's Aden

CAIRO (Reuters) -The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said on Tuesday two explosions were reported in the proximity of a merchant vessel 82 nautical miles south of Yemen's Aden.

UKMTO reported that the vessel and all crew are safe and that authorities are investigating.

The Houthi militia that controls the most populous parts of Yemen and is aligned with Iran have staged attacks on ships in the waters off the country for months in solidarity with Palestinians fighting Israel in Gaza.

Authorities were investigating the incident, UKMTO said in an advisory note sent by e-mail.

The Houthi militants have launched repeated drone and missile strikes in the Red Sea, Bab al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden since November.

That has forced shippers to re-route cargo on longer and more expensive journeys around southern Africa and stoking fears the Israel-Hamas war could spread and destabilise the Middle East.

(Reporting by Enas Alashray and Nadine Awadallah; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Tom Hogue)