Iran’s Arabic-language state TV network Al Alam said on Sunday its Twitter account had been hacked and a false report was posted that an Iran-allied rebel leader in Yemen had died.

Al Alam has covered the crisis in Yemen since Saudi Arabia and Arab allies launched air strikes against the Shi’ite Houthi movement this month.

The air strikes have raised tensions between Shi’ite Muslim Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia, who are vying for influence amid sectarian wars shaking the region.

The false news on Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi’s death was tweeted by Al Alam’s account on Saturday, and several later posts published contact information for the channel’s reporters around the region.

The channel said it was working on restoring its account.

Al Alam’s Youtube channel also appeared to be hacked, and a video was posted of a song praising Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz with the Saudi flag as a backdrop.

The station was taken off the air by Arab satellite operators based in Egypt and Saudi Arabia in November.

US-allied Arab governments have watched with alarm as Iran’s influence has spread in the wake of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and the rise of Iranian-backed armed groups throughout the region. – Reuters

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