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Yemen rebel missile shot down near Saudi capital: coalition

Houthi rebels regularly launch cross-border missiles into Saudi Arabia [AFP]

Date of publication: 20 May, 2017

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Saudi Arabia said it shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemeni rebels southwest of the capital Riyadh late on Friday, ahead of US President Donald Trump's arrival.

A ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels was shot down by Saudi Arabia, southwest of the capital Riyadh late on Friday, ahead of US President Donald Trump's arrival.

Air defence units "intercepted a ballistic missile that was launched by Houthi militias over an unpopulated area", 180 kilometres from Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement.

Houthi-run al-Masirah television said on its Twitter account that rebel "rocket forces launched a Volcano-2 ballistic missile on the capital of Saudi Arabia".

The strike would be the longest attempted by the rebels and their allies, former members of Yemen's security forces allied with ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, since they began retaliatory attacks against the kingdom two years ago.

Occasional ballistic missile attacks, as well as more frequent short-range rocket fire over the southern border, have been conducted following coalition airstrikes against the rebels in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia formed a coalition of mainly Arab nations to battle the rebels in a military intervention that has lasted more than two years and left more than 10,000 dead.

Meanwhile, Trump is due to arrive on Saturday for two days of summits with Saudi, Gulf and Muslim leaders in a much-anticipated Islamic summit in the kingdom's capital.

 

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