DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahrain’s military command says one of its officers and a soldier were killed in a drone attack by Yemeni rebels while patrolling the Yemeni-Saudi border.
The statement, carried by the official Bahrain News Agency, says “a number” of soldiers were wounded in the attack early Monday.
Bahrain is a close ally of Saudi Arabia, which has been at war with the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen for several years. A cease-fire had largely stopped the violence, and the two sides have appeared close to a peace agreement in recent months.
Saudi Arabia and Iran restored diplomatic relations earlier this year in a deal brokered by China, further raising hopes for an end to the conflict in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country.
“This terrorist attack was carried out by the Houthis, who sent aircraft targeting the position of the Bahraini guards on the southern border of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia despite the halt of military operations between the warring sides in Yemen,” the Bahraini military statement said.
Yemen’s war began in 2014 when the Houthis swept down from their northern stronghold and seized the capital, Sanaa, along with much of the country’s north. In response, a Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized government to power.
The war soon devolved into a stalemate, causing widespread hunger and misery in Yemen, a country on the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula.
A U.N.-brokered cease-fire largely halted the violence, and Yemen has seen only sporadic clashes since it expired nearly a year ago. But diplomats have warned that the situation remains volatile.
Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia welcomed a Houthi delegation for peace talks, saying the negotiations had “positive results.”
But Monday’s attack could unravel the recent progress or prompt retaliation from the kingdom and its allies.
There was no immediate comment from the Houthis or from Saudi Arabia.