Nine Saudi soldiers fighting Yemeni rebels on the border were reported missing Friday, and the kingdom's monarch vowed to defend the country.
A defense ministry statement said the fate of the soldiers remained unknown. The statement was a reaction to reports that the soldiers were captured by Yemeni rebels.
Saudi Arabia has unleashed an offensive against Yemeni Shi'ite rebels who crossed into the kingdom and killed a Saudi soldier earlier this month. The rebels have been fighting Yemen's central government for five years, destabilizing the already impoverished nation that has become fertile ground for al-Qaida.
Saudi King Abdullah said Friday his country will not allow anyone to "desecrate" its lands.