(Adds details, background)
DUBAI, April 26 Saudi forces have foiled an
attempt to blow up an Aramco fuel terminal in southern Saudi
Arabia using a high-speed boat laden with explosives, the
interior ministry said on Wednesday, and accused Yemen's Houthi
group of being behind the attempt.
The ministry said in a statement that navy forces opened
fire on the remote-controlled boat on Tuesday, after it was
intercepted inside Saudi territorial waters some 1.5 nautical
miles from its target.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries in the
incident, which the statement said targeted an Aramco fuel
terminal and distribution station in Jazan.
The statement accused the Iran-aligned Houthis of being
behind the attempted attack, saying the group which controls
much of northern Yemen was "threatening waterways and naval
facilities using booby-trapped boats and naval mines".
Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab coalition that is fighting
the Houthis, who have seized much of northern Yemen since 2014
and forced President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.
In January, Saudi Arabia said one of its frigates was
damaged in a suicide boat attack by the Houthis off the Yemeni
port of Hodeidah. The Houthis said the frigate was hit by a
missile fired by the group.
The interior ministry statement said the boat was tracked
from the moment it left a small Yemeni island, and as it
accelerated when it entered Saudi territorial waters towards the
terminal and fuel distribution station.
"When Saudi naval forces intercepted it, they found no one
on it and that it was being remotely operated, which
necessitated that it be dealt with by shooting at its engine,"
the statement said.
(Reporting by Mohamed El Sherif, writing by Sami Aboudi;
editing by Ralph Boulton)