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Saudi Arabia intercepts missile fired from Yemen targeting main airport

Rocket is shot down just miles from Saudi capital Riyadh

Benjamin Kentish
Saturday 04 November 2017 21:37 GMT
Saudi Arabia has intercepted several missiles fired from Yemen in recent months
Saudi Arabia has intercepted several missiles fired from Yemen in recent months (Getty)

Saudi Arabia says it has intercepted a ballistic missile fired at the outskirts of its capital, Riyadh, from Yemen.

Saudi military sources said they shot down the missile north-east of the city. Its intended target is believed to have been the King Khalid International Airport, 22 miles north of Riyadh. No damage was caused, although parts of the rocket landed in an uninhabited area close to the city.

The missile was reportedly fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen, who have been locked in a bloody conflict with Saudi Arabia since 2015.

The Saudi military has intercepted several missiles fired from Yemen in the past, most recently in May, but Saturday's rocket came closer to a major Saudi population centre than any has previously.

The Houthis are opposed to Yemen's internationally-recognised president, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, who is being backed by the Saudis.

Saudi bombing of Yemen since 2015 has killed more than 10,000 people and led to a devastating humanitarian crisis. More than 20 million people are in needed of humanitarian assistance and cholera outbreaks have killed more than 2,000.

The US has backed the Saudi-led coalition with arms, including the surface-to-air missiles used to bring down rockets.

Al-Masira, a Houthi-owned media outlet, said the latest missile was fired in response to "Saudi-American aggression and crimes against the people of Yemen."

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