One of the ships, the Front Altair, was on fire after being hit by a suspected torpedo but the vessel’s owner denied reports it had sunk. The second ship, the Kokuka Courageous, is afloat but the hull has been damaged. The tankers have both been evacuated, with 44 crew members rescued.
It comes as the standoff between the US and Iran is threatening to reach boiling point.
A similar attack took place a month ago when four tankers were struck in the area, which Washington blamed on Tehran.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is currently visiting Iran in a bid to de-escalate the tensions.
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