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UAE: Terrorists attacked oil tanker

By the CNN Wire Staff
A Emirati News Agency (WAM) handout shows Japanese oil tanker "M.Star" arriving at the Emirati port of Fujairah on July 28.
A Emirati News Agency (WAM) handout shows Japanese oil tanker "M.Star" arriving at the Emirati port of Fujairah on July 28.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • State agency says attack was terror-related
  • At first, United Arab Emirates officials had denied terror link
  • Tanker was targeted while passing through Strait of Hormuz
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(CNN) -- Four days after an al Qaeda-linked group claimed responsibility for targeting an oil tanker, the United Arab Emirates government has acknowledged that it was indeed attacked, state media said Friday.

The government had earlier said the tanker was passing through the Strait of Hormuz when it was exposed to a high wave as a result of an earthquake shock.

However, the state news agency WAM reported, the tanker "was the target of a terrorist attack while passing through international waters near the Strait of Hormuz."

Workers fixed the damage to the vessel and the attack caused no human injuries or oil spills, the agency said.

The militant Islamist group claimed responsibility for the explosion aboard the oil tanker on Monday.

In a statement posted on various websites that regularly carry messages from al Qaeda leaders, the Abdullah Azzam Brigades included a picture of a man they claimed carried out a suicide attack on the tanker on July 28.

The group said the attack was intended to "strike an economic blow to the infidels." It is believed to be behind several attacks in the Middle East, including the October 2004 attack on a hotel and nearby camp sites in Egypt that killed more than three dozen people.

The statement from the Abdullah Azzam Brigades said the attack on the tanker was the "conquest of Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman" -- a reference to the imprisoned blind cleric who inspired the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York.