Crew member from the UK killed in oil tanker attack off coast of Oman

Credit: AP

A crew member from the UK was among two workers killed in an attack on an oil tanker off Oman late on Thursday night.

Zodiac Maritime, the company that manages the tanker, described the attack as "piracy" but did not elaborate.

A second crew member, a Romanian national was also killed.

Zodiac Maritime falls under Israeli billionaire Eyal Ofer's Zodiac Group.

Israeli officials did not immediately acknowledge the attack, but it comes amid heightened tensions between it and Iran as negotiations remain stalled over Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.

Other Israel-linked ships have been targeted in recent months, with Israeli officials blaming Iran for the assaults.

Israel meanwhile has been suspected in a series of major attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear program.

This is the second time this month a ship tied to Mr Ofer apparently has been targeted.

In early July, the Liberian-flagged container ship CSAV Tyndall, once tied to Zodiac Maritime, suffered an unexplained explosion on board while in the northern Indian Ocean, according to the US Maritime Administration.

An brief initial statement from the British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations said an investigation was underway into the incident, which it described as happening late Thursday night.

The statement did not elaborate, other to say that it suspected the attack did not involve piracy.

Earlier on Thursday, the British military group had said it was investigating another unexplained incident in the same area, but it did not elaborate.

Oman did not acknowledge an attack and officials there did not respond to requests for comment.

Iranian media quoted foreign reports on the attack, but did not elaborate.