RIYADH (AA) - The Saudi-led Arab coalition on Thursday intercepted and destroyed south of the Red Sea an explosive-laden boat launched by the Iran-backed Houthi rebel group from Yemen.
"The coalition naval system spotted this morning a Houthi attempt to carry out an imminent hostile and terrorist act in the southern Red Sea, using a remote-controlled booby-trapped boat," the coalition said in a statement.
“The boat had set off from the province of Al-Hudaydah [in western Yemen]," the statement further said.
The incident has posed further threat to maritime transport routes and the oil trade passing through the region.
There was no immediate confirmation from Houthis.
The incident comes as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are considering responses to Saturday's assault on Saudi oil facilities.
Both of them have blamed Iran for the attacks. Tehran, however, has denied any involvement.
Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels besieged much of the country, including the capital Sanaa.
The conflict escalated the following year, when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen and supporting the country’s pro-Saudi government.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat