Yemeni rebels attack Saudi oil tanker: coalition

Riyadh (AFP) –


Yemeni rebels on Tuesday attacked a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea, causing "minor damage", state media said citing the Saudi-led military coalition against the Iran-backed insurgents.

"A Saudi oil tanker was subjected to an Iranian Huthi attack off Hodeida port," the Saudi Press Agency quoted a coalition spokesman as saying, without revealing the nature of the assault.

The tanker continued on its route "after the rapid intervention of a coalition naval vessel", the statement read.

No casualties were immediately reported.

It came a day after the United Nations said children were among 16 Yemenis killed in an apparent coalition air strike in Hodeida province, calling it "one of the deadliest attacks" on minors in the country for years.

The coalition said Tuesday's rebel assault "highlighted the dangers posed by Huthi militias and their backers to regional security", in a reference to Iran.

Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a military intervention in Yemen in 2015 with the aim of rolling back the Huthi rebels who had seized the capital and restoring the government to power.

The Shiite insurgents have ramped up attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia recently, marking the third anniversary of the Saudi-led intervention with seven ballistic missiles fired at the kingdom on March 26.

Saudi Arabia says its air defences intercepted the missiles, but falling debris claimed the life of an Egyptian labourer in Riyadh.