Saudi Arabia says it intercepted Houthi missile that hurt 2

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels and debris that fell on a neighborhood near Dammam wounded at least two children, the kingdom said Sunday.

Images published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency showed glass and debris across a townhouse there, which is in the kingdom’s eastern reaches and near the headquarters of the state-run oil giant Saudi Aramco. At least 14 homes in the area sustained damage, the agency reported.

The Houthis launched three bomb-laden drones and three ballistic missiles in the attack, military spokesman Brig. Gen. Turki al-Malki said.

Houthi military spokesman Yahia Sarei said in a tweet the rebels launched a military operation deep in Saudi Arabia. In a statement later Sunday, the rebels claimed they sent at least eight explosive-laded drones and fired one ballistic missile on Aramco facilities in the city of Ras Tanura, about 55 kilometers (34 miles) north of Dammam.

The Houthis also claimed they targeted Aramco facilities in the cities of Jeddah, Jizan and Najran with five ballistic missiles and two explosive-laden drones.

The rebels did not offer evidence supporting their claims.

The U.S. Consulate in nearby Dhahran sent an alert to American citizens warning them about the attack, which it described as targeting the area around Dhahran, Dammam and Khobar.

“Stay alert in case of additional future attacks,” the consulate said.

Saudi Arabia is mired in a yearslong, deadlocked war backing Yemen’s toppled government against the Iranian-backed Houthis. The Saudi-led war, which began in March 2015, has seen an uptick in recent months amid a Houthi effort to capture the city of Marib.

That also has seen renewed, long-range attacks by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia. A bomb-laden drone on Tuesday crashed into the kingdom’s Abha airport, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian plane.

Airstrikes and ground fighting in Yemen have killed more than 130,000 people and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The weekend attacks on Saudi Arabia came as Swedish diplomat Hans Grundberg took up his post Sunday as the United Nations envoy for Yemen.

Grundberg said in a message to Yemenis that he accepted the post “with the full understanding of the magnitude of the task, the complexity of the situation and the challenges that lie ahead.”

Grundberg, who served as the European Union’s ambassador to Yemen for almost two years, succeeded Martin Griffiths of Britain. Griffiths recently took up his new post as U.N. undersecretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator.

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