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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Fire in Saudi city ahead of F1 race; Houthis claim attacks

While Saudi Arabia and its state-run oil behemoth Saudi Aramco did not immediately acknowledge the blaze, it appeared to be centred on the same fuel depot that the Houthis had attacked in recent days.

By: AP | Dubai |
March 25, 2022 9:32:50 pm
A cloud of smoke rises from a burning oil depot in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Friday, March 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

A raging fire erupted Friday at an oil depot in the Saudi city of Jiddah ahead of an F1 race there, according to videos, with Yemen’s Houthis rebels acknowledging they had launched a series of attacks on the kingdom.

While Saudi Arabia and its state-run oil behemoth Saudi Aramco did not immediately acknowledge the blaze, it appeared to be centred on the same fuel depot that the Houthis had attacked in recent days.

The North Jiddah Bulk Plant sits just southeast of the city’s international airport, a crucial hub for Muslim pilgrims heading to Mecca. Videos of the blaze corresponded to known geographic features around the plant.

Those at the F1 track could see the large black smoke cloud in the distance. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Those at the F1 track could see the large black smoke cloud in the distance. The cause of the blaze was not immediately known.

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However, the al-Masirah satellite news channel run by Yemen’s Houthi rebels said more details would be released later about their attacks. The Iran-backed Houthis did not immediately claim they were behind the Jiddah fire on Friday.

Meanwhile, Saudi state television acknowledged attacks in the town of Dhahran targeting water tanks that damaged vehicles and homes. Another attack targeted an electrical substation in an area of southwestern Saudi Arabia near the Yemeni border, state TV said.

The North Jiddah Bulk Plant stores diesel, gasoline and jet fuel for use in Jiddah, the kingdom’s second-largest city. It accounts for over a quarter of all of Saudi Arabia’s supplies and also supplies fuel crucial to running a regional desalination plant.

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