A Japanese-owned commercial tanker was attacked by a drone launched from Iran in the Indian Ocean on Saturday, causing a fire but leaving no one injured, the U.S. Department of Defense said.

The Liberian-flagged, Netherlands-operated chemical tanker was struck about 370 kilometers off India "by a one-way attack drone fired from Iran," the Pentagon said in a statement, adding the fire on board has been extinguished.

The Associated Press reported the tanker had ties with Israel, citing a British maritime security firm.

Screenshot taken from an account belonging to the Indian Coast Guard on X, formerly Twitter, shows the tanker purportedly attacked by a drone from Iran. (Kyodo)

The tanker, which was carrying 20 Indians and one Vietnamese, had left Saudi Arabia on Tuesday and was heading to Mangalore, southwestern India, according to the U.S. Defense Department and the Indian Coast Guard.

But the vessel decided to head to Mumbai for repairs and to have the damage assessed with the assistance of the Indian Coast Guard.

The incident came amid a series of attacks on ships in the Red Sea since the start of the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which began on Oct. 7.

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