Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile over Riyadh | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 25.03.2018
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Middle East

Saudi Arabia intercepts ballistic missile over Riyadh

Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for a ballistic missile attack on Saudi Arabia in which at least one person died. Saudi armed forces said they intercepted a missile over the capital city Riyadh.

One person was killed and two others were wounded in a ballistic missile attack on Saudi Arabia on Sunday, state media reported.

Saudi armed forces said they intercepted seven ballistic missiles on Sunday night, including one over the capital, Riyadh. Falling fragments from an intercepted missile fell onto a residential neighborhood of Riyadh, killing one Egyptian national and injuring two other Egyptians, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

Witnesses reported loud explosions, smoke and bright flashes in the sky shortly before midnight.

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attack through their SABA news agency. The agency said they had been targeting King Khalid International Airport with a Burkan H2 missile.

It said they had also fired missiles at airports in the southern cities of Abha, Jizan and Najran.

"This aggressive and hostile action by the Iran-backed Houthi group proves that the Iranian regime continues to support the armed group with military capabilities," spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Turki al-Malki, said.

"The firing of multiple ballistic missiles towards cities is a serious development."

Saudi Arabia's Al Arabiya broadcast footage purportedly showing Patriot missile batteries firing at a missile.

Read more: Could Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions shake up the Middle East?

Third anniversary of conflict

Sunday was the third anniversary of the start of the Saudi-led war on the Houthis and their allies.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since March 2015. About 8.4 million face imminent famine in the country, according to the United Nations.

Houthi rebels have fired multiple missiles into Saudi Arabia since November, all of which have been intercepted. At least one of them targeted Riyadh airport.

Houthi chief Abdelmalik al-Huthi said in a speech on Sunday that his fighters were ready to make more "sacrifices" against the Saudi-led coalition.

Read more: Amnesty International slams Western arms sales to Saudi Arabia and allies in Yemen war

aw/jm (AFP, AP, Reuters)

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