Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile over capital

Lucy Bush
November 5, 2017

Saudi Arabia has hit and destroyed a "ballistic missile" northeast from its capital Riyadh after it was launched from Yemen.

State-run news channel Al-Ekhbariya said the missile "was of limited size (and) no injuries or damage" were reported.

Saudi Arabia's Civil Aviation Authority confirmed on Twitter that the missile had been brought down over the airport.

The claims followed a report that Houthi rebels in Yemen - who are engaged in a long-running war with Saudi-backed forces - had fired a ballistic missile at their northern neighbor.

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"And then we have a claim from Houthi rebels in Yemen that they fired a long-range missile at Riyadh and the Saudi air defence forces saying it has intercepted a long distance missile that it believes was sacked from Yemen".

At least 40 Houthi rebels were killed in clashes with government forces in the southwestern province of Taiz, the Yemeni army said Saturday.

Riyadh is around 620 miles north of the border with Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been fighting a proxy war in Yemen against Iran, which it accuses of arming the Houthi rebels.

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A Saudi military spokesman condemned the attack in a statement, saying the missile was sacked "indiscriminately" towards a populated civilian area.

The U.S., which is one of the kingdom's most important military suppliers, has backed the coalition with logistical support.

In the past, Saudi Arabia has accused its rival, Shiite power Iran, of training and helping arm the rebels. It reported the rebels saying the missile was sacked in response to "Saudi-American aggression and crimes against the people of Yemen".

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