RIYADH : Saudi King Salman has sacked health minister Ahmed al-Khatib and appointed a caretaker to carry out his duties, the official Saudi Press Agency said in a terse statement Saturday. SPA did not give a reason for the sacking but said that the king issued a decree to appoint Minister of State Mohammed al-Sheikh as acting health minister . Saudi news website Sabq said Khatib was replaced over his "shortcomings" in dealing with hospitals in the south of the country, where troops are deployed along the border with conflict-hit Yemen. Sabq did not source its report.

A Saudi-led coalition has been engaged in an air campaign against Shiite rebels in Yemen, and the kingdom's troops are mobilised in the south of the country.