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UPDATED: Missile intercepted over Saudi oil region injures two, damages buildings

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Two children were injured and buildings were damaged when a ballistic missile was intercepted over Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich eastern region on Saturday, the ministry of defence said.

The missile was intercepted over a suburb of the city of Dammam, with scattered shrapnel injuring two Saudi children and causing light damage to 14 houses, the statement carried by state news agency SPA said.

Photos on state media showed broken glass and damaged entrances of a few residential buildings.

Yemen’s Houthi group attacked oil facilities belonging to Saudi Aramco in Ras Tanura, in the east of the kingdom, and other locations including Jeddah, on the Red Sea coast, a military spokesman for the Iran-aligned group said on Sunday

The group said it attacked the facilities with drones and ballistic missiles, he said.

The coalition also said it intercepted and destroyed ballistic missiles heading towards Jazan and Najran in the southern part of the country. It earlier reported the interception of three explosive-laden drones headed towards the kingdom.

Eastern Saudi Arabia is home to significant oil infrastructure that has previously been targeted by aerial attacks. An attack in September 2019 on two Aramco plants in the east temporarily knocked out half the country’s oil production.

Yemen’s Houthis, who regularly launch drones and missiles into the kingdom, have claimed responsibility for several attacks on Saudi oil installations in the past.

A source familiar with the matter said there was no impact on facilities belonging to state-controlled oil giant Saudi Aramco and that the attack happened outside of Aramco facilities.

“The Ministry of Defence will take the necessary and deterrent measures to protect its lands and capabilities, and stop such hostile and cross-border attacks to protect civilians, in accordance with international humanitarian law,” the ministry said.

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing forces of the ousted government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fighting the Houthis.

Photo: File photo by EPA/STF/ANADOLU AGENCY