A crude tanker has reported a suspicious approach by armed men on a small boat off Yemen after a weekend that saw Houthi rebels step up their attacks against shipping.

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, seven nautical miles (13 km) south-west of Ghurayrah, according to Ambrey Analytics.

The Panama-flagged tanker said in a VHF alert that it was transiting north along the Bab el-Mandeb strait at a speed of 12.6