Coalition forces foil attack on Saudi oil tanker

The spokesman of a Saudi-led military coalition Turki Al Malki accused Iran of being behind the Yemeni rebel missile attacks on the kingdom. Fayez Nureldine  AFP

Col. Turki Al Maliki, the spokesperson of the coalition, said in a statement that the attack took place in the afternoon in the worldwide waters west of the port of Hodeidah which is under the control of Houthis in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia and its allies have repeatedly been accused of hitting civilians targets, including hospitals and markets, in their three-year campaign against the Houthis.

A coalition warship conducted a "swift intervention" foiling the attack, it said, without identifying the type of weapon used in the assault.

A European Union naval force that operates in the region confirmed the ship was underway, adding that the crew were safe and unharmed. "The continuation of these attempts highlights the danger of these militias and those behind them to the regional and worldwide security", he said. It gave no further details.

The funding appeal came a day after several children were among those killed in a strike on the rebel-held port of Hodeida.

The Saudi-led coalition shut down the country's land, sea and air borders a year ago in response to a missile attack by the Houthis that was intercepted near Riyadh.

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The Saudi aggression was launched in March 2015 in support of Yemen's former Riyadh-friendly government and against the country's Houthi Ansarullah movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of an effective administration.

The coalition said it was investigating the reports. Tehran and the Houthis deny the charge.

"This pledging conference represents a remarkable success of worldwide solidarity to the people of Yemen", said UN Secretary-General António Guterres.

Griffiths has already held talks with Houthi authorities as well as internationally-recognised Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Saudi officials in Riyadh.

"To deliver this assistance to people in need, relief supplies and aid workers must be able to move freely through all entry points, and throughout the country", the agency said in a statement. These pledges will support the United Nations and partners' 2018 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (YHRP) which requires $2.96 billion for lifesaving assistance to 13 million people, and other activities.

Jan Egeland, secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council, called for a ceasefire and end to the war.

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