Saudis intercept ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile over Riyadh after it was launched from conflict-torn Yemen, with debris landing inside the capital's international airport, officials said.
Residents in Riyadh reported a loud bang near the airport after the missile, the firing of which was claimed by Iran- backed Huthi rebels, was shot down on Saturday, but authorities reported no major damage or loss of life.
The attack underscores the threat posed by the raging conflict in Yemen, increasingly spilling across the border since a Saudi-led coalition began its military intervention in 2015.
"This evening a ballistic missile was fired from Yemeni territory towards the kingdom," the Saudi Press Agency quoted coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki as saying on Saturday. "The missile was launched indiscriminately to target the civilian and populated areas... Shattered fragments from the intercepted missile landed in an uninhabited area of the airport and there were no injuries," he added. Civil aviation authorities said the airport was functioning normally and that flights were operating as scheduled. Yemen's Shiite Huthi rebels, who fired the missile from Yemeni territory more than 1,200 kilometres from Riyadh, said they were targeting the airport.