Saudi says two Houthi missiles intercepted over Riyadh

Yemen's Houthis have fired series of missiles in recent months in retaliation to air raids by Saudi-Emirati coalition.

    The missile attack was the sixth on Riyadh since December [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]
    The missile attack was the sixth on Riyadh since December [Screengrab/Al Jazeera]

    Saudi Arabia says it has intercepted two missiles over the capital, Riyadh, that were launched from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen.

    Yemen's Houthi rebels have fired a series of missiles into the kingdom in recent months in retaliation to air raids by a Saudi-Emirati coalition backing pro-government forces in the Arab world's poorest country.

    At least six loud blasts were heard on Sunday and bright flashes were seen in the sky over Riyadh, a witness told Reuters news agency.

    Shrapnel was spotted on a street in the diplomatic quarter where most embassies are located and many foreigners live.

    "Saudi Royal Air Defence Forces intercepted and destroyed the missiles. Some of the debris of the intercepted missiles landed on residential areas, thankfully without causing any casualties," coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki said in a statement.

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    Houthi-run media said Burkan missiles were fired at the Saudi defence ministry and other targets.

    "The longer the aggression and war continue, the greater our ballistic missile capabilities," Al Mayadeen TV quoted Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam as saying.

    The attack was the first to target Riyadh since the Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive last week to capture Yemen's Hudaida port city, in the biggest battle of the three-year war aimed at weakening the Houthis by cutting their main supply line.

    There was a heightened security presence and fire trucks in the diplomatic quarter following Sunday's missile attack, which was the sixth on Riyadh since December.

    The Western-backed coalition intervened in Yemen's war in 2015 to unseat the Houthis and restore the internationally recognised government in exile.

    Riyadh has accused the Houthis of using the port to smuggle Iranian-made weapons, including missiles - accusations denied by the group and Tehran.

    SOURCE: News agencies


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