Saudi oil tanker hit in Houthi attack off Yemen: coalition

Yemen rebels hit Saudi tanker in Red Sea, Saudi Arabia claims

Coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Malki said the attack occurred at 1:30 p.m. (10:30 GMT) in worldwide waters west of the port of Hodeida in Yemen, which is under Houthi control.

The tanker was hit in the attack before "swift intervention" was launched by a nearby coalition naval vessel, Riyadh media have said.

Saudi-led Arab forces are pitted against the Houthis, who seized control of the Yemeni capital Sana'a in late 2014. European Union naval forces also confirmed the incident, saying there were no casualties.

The department's text message was referring to an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on Monday in Houthi-controlled Hodeidah that destroyed a house and killed 12 civilians from the same family, including seven children.

"A Saudi oil tanker was subjected to an Iranian Houthi attack off Hodeidah port", the Saudi Press Agency reported the coalition spokesperson saying. Saudi authorities said they had intercepted the missiles, although debris had killed one person.

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A leading human rights group on Monday called on Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade on Yemen, and for the Houthis to stop firing missiles across the border into the kingdom. Following three years of armed conflict, 75 percent of the population, 22.2 million people, are in urgent need of humanitarian aid. "Forty countries and organizations committed to donate $2.01bn on Tuesday during a pledging event in the Swiss city of Geneva, which was co-chaired by the U.N., Sweden, and Switzerland..."

Griffiths has already held talks with Houthi authorities as well as internationally-recognised Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Saudi officials in Riyadh.

"I am optimistic about that possibility", the United Nations chief added.

The alliance, which includes other Sunni Muslim states, has conducted thousands of air strikes targeting Houthi fighters and has often hit civilian areas, although it denies ever doing so intentionally.

The attack could complicate a new United Nations attempt to end a war that has killed more than 10,000 people.

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