Conflicting reports have emerged of an alleged attack by Houthi rebels on a merchant ship off Yemen.

Security company Dryad Global said unverifiable reports had emerged from Saudi Arabia, claiming that Western-backed coalition forces had thwarted an assault in the Bab-el-Mandeb area of the southern Red Sea by deploying waterborne improvised explosive devices.

Dryad said that a Saudi-led coalition spokesman, Colonel Turki al-Malki, was unable to provide further details regarding the incident.