Riyadh shoots down Al Houthi missiles

Air defences destroy rockets fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen

Riyadh: Saudi air defences intercepted two missiles over Riyadh Sunday that had been fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen.

“Two ballistic missiles fired by Al Houthi rebels were intercepted over Riyadh,” state-run Al Ekhbariya television said, without specifying whether there were any casualties or damage.

An AFP journalist heard at least four loud explosions in the Saudi capital, which has been targeted by Al Houthi missiles in the past.

Turki Al Maliki, a spokesman for a Riyadh-led military coalition fighting the rebels, denied that the defence ministry had been hit.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other allies intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to push back the rebels and restore the internationally recognised government to power.

The rebels have in recent months increased missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

Saudi forces usually shoot down Al Houthi missiles.

The latest strikes come as Yemeni pro-government forces are locked in heavy battles with Al Houthi rebels as they press an offensive backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE to retake the key aid hub of Hodeida.

Saudi Arabia last month tested a new siren system for Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province.

Tehran supplies the Al Houthis with ballistic missiles.


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