Saudi Arabia says major oil pipeline attacked by drones with fingers pointing to Yemen's Houthis

Saudi Arabia says major oil pipeline attacked by drones with fingers pointing to Yemen's Houthis
Saudi Arabia's oil minister has said that two pumping stations were attacked by drones, just hours after Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed they had attacked 'vital Saudi installations'.
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Houthi rebels on Tuesday claimed to have attacked several Saudi targets [Getty]
Two pumping stations on a major Saudi oil pipeline were attacked by drones on Tuesday, halting the flow of crude along it, Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih has said, with reports linking the strikes to Yemeni rebels.

The minister claimed the attacks on the pipeline from the oil-rich Eastern Province to the Red Sea took place early on Tuesday, hundreds of kilometres from the Yemeni border.

The attacks were also confirmed in a report by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

Earlier on Tuesday, Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed that they had targeted several vital Saudi targets with drones.

Riyadh gave no immediate confirmation of the report, which came a day after the kingdom said two of its oil tankers were among four vessels attacked off the coast of the UAE on Sunday.

Houthi-aligned Masirah TV cited a Houthi military official who claimed that "seven drones carried out attacks on vital Saudi installations". 

"This large military operation is in response to the continued aggression and blockade of our people and we are prepared to carry out more unique and harsh strikes," the official was quoted by al-Masirah as saying.

Houthi rebels have been locked in conflict with a military Saudi-led coalition since March 2015, when the coalition intervened in Yemen to restore the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

During the course of the conflict, the Iran-aligned Houthis have launched several missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Yemen's conflict has killed tens of thousands people, many of them civilians, relief agencies say. 

The fighting has triggered what the United Nations describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with 24.1 million - more than two-thirds of the population - in need of aid.

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