Saudia Arabia ‘intercept missile near capital’

By BBC

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The airport is located north of Riyadh. * AFP photo

(BBC) – Saudi Arabia has intercepted a ballistic missile from Yemen, reports say, after a loud explosion was heard near Riyadh airport.

Saudi air defence forces were quoted by broadcaster Al-Arabiya as saying they intercepted the missile north-east of the capital.

A TV channel linked to Houthi rebels in Yemen said the missile was launched at the King Khalid International Airport.

Saudi forces have reported shooting down Houthi missiles before.

No previous missiles have come so close to a major population centre.

State news channel Al-Ekhbariya said the missile was “of limited size” and caused no damage.

Yemen has been devastated by a war between forces loyal to the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement.

Saudi Arabia is leading a campaign to defeat the Houthis, and is the biggest power in an international air coalition that has bombed the rebel group since 2015.

UN-brokered talks have failed to bring an end to the bloodshed, which has claimed more than 8,600 lives and injured nearly 50,000 since the Saudi-led campaign began.

The conflict has also left 20.7 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, created the world’s largest food security emergency, and led to a cholera outbreak that is believed to have affected 884,000 people and caused 2,184 deaths.

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