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Missile from Yemen intercepted over Saudi capital

Iranian-backed Houthis take credit for missile targeting capital’s airport; Saudi state TV says no injuries or damage

Illustrative: A Saudi soldier sits atop an armored vehicle on the border with Yemen, at a military post in Najran, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)
Illustrative: A Saudi soldier sits atop an armored vehicle on the border with Yemen, at a military post in Najran, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi Arabia on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a “ballistic missile” northeast of the capital Riyadh after it was launched from Yemen, state media reported.

“Saudi air defense intercepts ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh,” Saudi state TV said.

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

The missile was destroyed near Riyadh’s King Khaled international airport, which was functioning normally, it added.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed they had fired the missile, targeting the airport, the Houthis’ Al-Masirah television said.

Saudi Arabia’s southern neighbor Yemen has been torn apart by a war between the Saudi-backed government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Houthi rebels backed by Iran.

A Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015 to prop up Hadi’s government after the Shiite Houthis seized the capital Sanaa.

The rebels continue to hold much of the country.

United Nations-backed talks have failed to broker a political settlement to end the fighting, which has left more than 8,600 people dead since the coalition intervened.

A cholera outbreak has claimed more than 2,100 lives in Yemen since April as hospitals struggle to secure supplies amid a coalition air and sea blockade.

The United Nations has warned Yemen now stands on the brink of famine.

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