Saudi Arabia says 6 shells fall near border post close to Kuwait

Incident occurred in the far northwestern fringes of the kingdom's oil producing region and several hundred miles from its largest oilfields
Saudi Arabia says 6 shells fall near border post close to Kuwait
By Reuters
Thu 21 Nov 2013 11:06 AM

Six mortar shells landed
near a remote Saudi border post close to neighbouring fellow oil producers Iraq
and Kuwait on Wednesday, but caused no damage, the kingdom's border guard
agency said on Thursday.

"Six mortar shells fell in an uninhabited area
near the new Al Auja border guard centre of Hafr Al Batin in the Eastern
Province. Thank God no damage resulted from it," said General Mohammed
Al Ghamdi, the border guard media spokesman, in a statement carried by the
official Saudi Press Agency.

The area is on the far northwestern fringes of the
kingdom's oil producing region and several hundred km (miles) from its largest
oilfields.

Ghamdi said he had been in contact with border
guards of "neighbouring countries" to take necessary measures to
determine the source of mortar fire and prevent it recurring.

Sunni Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil
exporter and a close ally of Kuwait, has an uneasy relationship with the
Shi'ite Muslim-led Iraqi government, which it regards as a pawn of its main
regional rival Iran.

It has not had an ambassador in Baghdad since
before the 1990-91 Gulf War.

Sectarian fighting in Iraq over the past decade has
involved Sunni militant groups close to al Qaeda and Shi'ite militias which
regard Saudi Arabia unfavourably.

The kingdom has constructed a barricade of fences
and earthen dykes along its Iraqi border to prevent infiltration of militants
from the country.

Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province shares around 60 km
(38 miles) of border with Iraq near the town of Hafr al-Batin. The border area
is deep in the desert, with no towns or villages nearby. The province also
borders Kuwait.

Saudi Arabia has significant oil facilities in the
Neutral Zone it shares with Kuwait, more than 100 km (62 miles) from Hafr
al-Batin, but its main oil and gas fields are located much further to the
southeast, hundreds of km (miles) away.

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