Two Saudi soldiers killed patrolling Yemen border

Two Saudi soldiers were killed Thursday in a rocket attack near the border with war-torn Yemen, the Interior Ministry said.

They died in a simultaneous land mine explosion and rocket attack while on duty patrolling the border around Jazan, the ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

Saudi Arabia leads an Arab coalition that has battled Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen for two years. The coalition is allied with forces loyal to internationally recognized President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Hadi’s forces have struggled to wrench control of large swaths of Yemeni territory from the Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa.

On Wednesday Riyadh said it had intercepted a Yemeni rebel boat rigged with explosives headed for an Aramco oil distribution platform in the southwestern Jazan region.

The UN estimates that more than 7,700 people have been killed in Yemen and millions displaced since 2015. Around two-thirds of the country’s population faces the threat of famine this year.

More than 140 Saudis, including soldiers and civilians, have been killed since Riyadh intervened in the Yemen war, many of them in cross-border shelling.