U.S. Assists Oil Tankers Near Iran After Attacks

DUBAI—Two tankers were damaged in attacks off the coast of Iran early Thursday, sending oil prices sharply higher amid rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran following assaults on vessels last month.

Damage to one of the ships was extensive, including a fire and a hole at the water line that was consistent with a hit by a torpedo or other projectile, according to early assessments.

The Japanese government said the other ship, operated by a Japanese company, sustained multiple attacks, including at least one hit from an unidentified projectile. Both ships were carrying crude oil products headed for Asia.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain, which oversees U.S. naval operations in the region, received two distress calls about the attacks on the tankers in the Gulf of Oman, one at 6:12 a.m. local time and another one at 7 a.m., according to a statement from Cmdr. Josh Frey, a spokesman for the command. The USS Bainbridge, a destroyer, is rendering assistance.

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