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Iran Blames Saudi Arabia After Jets 'Bomb Embassy' in Yemen

TEHRAN — Iran accused the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen of deliberately bombing its embassy and injuring staff, worsening already-strained tensions between the rival powers.

NBC News was not able to confirm Iran's claims. An Associated Press reporter in Sanaa said there was no obvious damage to the building.

"This is was a targeted and deliberate attack by the Saudis. It goes against international law," the semi-official IRIN news agency quoted Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari as saying on Thursday. "The Saudis are responsible for the damage they have caused to the embassy as well as to injuries to guards and personnel."

He added: "Iran is taking this matter seriously and is going to follow it up fully."

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The Saudi-led forces will investigate the accusations, coalition spokesman Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asseri told Reuters.

Saudi Arabia and Sunni Muslim allies has been fighting the Shiite Houthi movement, which controls the capital. Saudi Arabia has accused Iran of backing the Houthis.

Related: What Are Differences Between Sunni and Shiite Muslims?

According to Asseri, the Houthis have used civilian facilities including abandoned embassies.

Coalition jets carried out heavy strikes in Sanaa on Wednesday night to target missile launchers used by the Houthis to fire at Saudi Arabia, Asseri added.

The Houthis say they are fighting a revolution against a corrupt government and Gulf Arab powers beholden to the West. Almost 6,000 people have died in the nine-month conflict, nearly half of them civilians.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia executed dissident Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and 46 others convicted of terror charges — the largest mass execution carried out by the kingdom since 1980.

News of his execution sparked attacks by Iranian protesters on Saudi missions and the severing of ties with Iran by the kingdom.

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