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MV Asphalt Princess: Suspected hijackers leave ship off UAE

Men who boarded and seized a ship in the Gulf of Oman have left the vessel and all those remaining on board are safe, officials say.

A UK maritime security agency said the potential hijacking of the Panama-flagged MV Asphalt Princess had ended but gave no further details.

The bitumen tanker was seized on Tuesday heading into the congested approach to the Strait of Hormuz.

It is not clear who seized the ship, but analysts suspected Iranian forces.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards dismissed reports of possible involvement as a pretext for "hostile action" against Tehran.

The men who boarded the MV Asphalt Princess were reportedly armed and are said to have ordered it to sail to Iran.

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) had initially warned ships of an incident before declaring a "potential hijack" hours later.

On Wednesday, the UKMTO tweeted that those who boarded the vessel had left, adding: "Vessel is safe. Incident complete."

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