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Turkish Cargo Ship Hits Mine off Romania

October 11 ------ A cargo ship hit a mine off the coast of Romania, sustaining minor damage. "The vessel reportedly experienced an explosion at approximately 0920 UTC (GMT). The vessel dropped anchor for a short period to assess the damage," said security consultancy Ambrey in an update. "At 1210, the vessel resumed sailing." The incident occurred near the entrance to the Sulina Canal, a strategic waterway connecting the Black Sea to the Danube River. The canal is one of several key arteries for Ukraine's grain trade, and the anchorage near its entrance is perennially busy.

Turkish shipping observer Yoruk Isik told Reuters that the vessel was the general cargo ship Kafkametler, and that the blast caused minor damage to a ballast tank. No injuries were reported. As of Thursday night, Kafkametler was anchored on the northern branch of the Danube River delta, near the Ukrainian port of Vylkove.

Yesterday, UK defense intelligence warned that it had reason to believe that Russia may use sea mines to target civilian shipping on the approaches to Ukrainian ports, then blame the damage on Ukraine. Russia has repeatedly attacked Ukraine's port infrastructure for grain exports, seeking to damage its agricultural economy.



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