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Drone attacks eastern Saudi port, missile targets Aramco facilities: energy ministry

A drone attacked a Saudi oil port and a ballistic missile targeted facilities of energy giant Aramco in the country’s east on Sunday, the energy ministry said.

“One of the petroleum tank areas at the Ras Tanura Port in the Eastern Region, one of the largest oil ports in the world, was attacked this morning by a drone” from the sea, the ministry said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Later Sunday, “shrapnel from a ballistic missile fell near Saudi Aramco’s residential area in the city of Dhahran, where thousands of the company’s employees and their families from different nationalities live,” it said.

In a later statement, the defence ministry said that “the drone that attacked from the sea was destroyed and brought down before reaching its target, and the ballistic missile that targeted Aramco facilities in Dhahran was also destroyed.”

It said shrapnel from the missile had fallen close to civilian infrastructure.

The defence ministry said the attacks targeted “the backbone of the world economy, oil supplies and global energy security”.

Neither statement reported casualties or damage, nor said who was behind the attacks.

But Yemen’s Huthi rebels claimed on Twitter they fired drones and missiles at Ras Tanura and military targets in the area of Dammam, which is close to Dhahran.

Earlier on Sunday, the Saudi-led military coalition mounted air strikes on Yemen’s Huthi-controlled capital Sanaa after intercepting a flurry of drones and missiles launched by the Iran-backed rebels, SPA reported.

The developments marked a new escalation in Yemen’s six-year conflict between the coalition-backed Yemeni government and the Huthi insurgents, despite a renewed US push to end the hostilities.