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Israel cargo ship Galaxy Leader ‘hijacked by Iran-backed militia’ in Red Sea with 52 people on board

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AN ISRAELI cargo ship has reportedly been hijacked by an Iran-backed militia group with 52 people on board.

It comes after the group – the Houthis based in Yemen – vowed they would target all ships owned by Israel or flying their flag in the Red Sea.

The Galaxy Leader is a large cargo ship owned by an Israeli firm

Houthi rebels are an Iran-backed militia group in Yemen[/caption]

Israeli officials confirmed the rebels had taken over the ship that is partially owned by one of their companies, according to Axios.

But it is understood there are no Israeli nationals onboard the massive vehicle carrier.

The ship has not reported its position on ship tracking services for 26 hours.

Lebanon-based outlet Al Mayadeen reported there were 52 people on board the ship when it was seized.

It is flagged to the Bahamas – and the nationality of the crew on board is unknown.

Houthi spokesman Yahya Sarea demanded all countries withdraw their citizens working on the crews of any such ships.

And after news broke of the ship hijacking, he said the group would release a statement in the “coming hours”.

The ship is reportedly owned by Israeli shipping businessman Rami Ungar.

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