November 11, 2009 / 12:48 PM / 10 years ago

Saudi blocks parts Yemen coast to stop rebel supplies

DUBAI, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia has imposed a naval blockade on northern Yemen’s Red Sea coast to stop weapons from reaching Yemeni Shi’ite Muslim rebels it is fighting in the area, a Saudi government adviser said on Wednesday.

Last week, Saudi Arabia launched an offensive against the rebels after they staged a cross-border raid during which they seized Saudi territory, accusing the kingdom of colluding with the Yemeni government against them.

The world’s largest oil exporter is getting increasingly drawn into a conflict to its south between Sanaa and the Zaidi Shi’ite rebellion, which Riyadh fears could weaken stability in the world’s biggest oil exporter.

The rebels, who are known as the Houthis after the clan of their leader and say they suffer religious, economic and political marginalisation, said on Tuesday they had seized more Yemeni territory along the Saudi border.

(Reporting by Alistair Lyon; Writing by Raissa Kasolowsky; Editing by Angus MacSwan)



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