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Iran 'bomb boat' found in path of British warship HMS Duncan sailing to Gulf

A British warship steaming to the Gulf was on high alert last night after an Iranian “bomb boat” was discovered in its path.

The unmanned attack vessel packed with explosives could have blown a hole in the hull of Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan, British newspaper Daily Mirror reported.

The remote-controlled Blowfish was spotted lurking in the Red Sea by Saudi forces close to HMS Duncan’s route as she sailed to protect shipping in the Gulf.

Iran has sworn revenge after Royal Marines impounded one of its tankers suspected of trying to illegally deliver oil to Syria.

Sources believe the Blowfish, which can be steered from four miles away, was deployed by Iran’s Houthi allies.

 

Heavily-armed Duncan, which is due to join the frigate HMS Montrose, will be at “action stations” as she sails through the Suez Canal.

Former UK naval officer Simon Warrington warned: “The threat from the Houthis, who as Iran’s proxy militia do Tehran’s dirty work, is very real.”

Britain will send a third warship – HMS Kent – to the Gulf, the defence ministry said earlier in the day.

Britain has already sent the Duncan, an air defence destroyer, to cover for frigate HMS Montrose while it undergoes maintenance in Bahrain, and will also send frigate Kent “later this year”.

Reports said it would head to the Gulf in mid-September.

HMS Duncan is the latest warship to join the growing fleet gathering in the Gulf – after America sent another warship and a Patriot missile-defence system to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran in May.

Amphibious transport ship the USS Arlington – with amphibious vehicles and helicopters on board – will join a strike force led by aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln. And B-52 bombers have arrived at a base in Qatar, the Pentagon said.

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