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Gulf tanker attacks: UN calls for independent probe


United Nations: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an independent investigation into this week's attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

"It is very important to know the truth, and it is very important that responsibilities are clarified," Xinhua quoted the UN chief as saying to reporters at the UN headquarters in New York on Friday.

He noted "that can only be done if there is some independent entity that verifies those facts."

"Whatever happens in the international community, we will be supportive of any initiative in this regard, provided it is truly independent," the UN chief said when answering a question regarding the attacks and their investigation.

Guterres further added that "the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf."

Earlier Thursday, two oil tankers were hit in the Gulf of Oman. At least one of them was operated by a Japanese company.

The attacks came amid Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Iran, who was seeking to help ease tensions between Iran and the US.

In May, four commercial vessels reportedly suffered similar sabotage off the coast of the United Arab Emirates.

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