Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted
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Saudi Arabia says new Yemen missile intercepted

Iran-backed Houthi rebels claim they fired Badr 1 missile which targeted southern city of Najran in third attack on kingdom in a week

Illustrative screen capture from a video claiming to show Saudi missile interceptors shooting down a missile over Riyadh on March 26, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)
Illustrative screen capture from a video claiming to show Saudi missile interceptors shooting down a missile over Riyadh on March 26, 2018. (Screen capture: Twitter)

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi air defenses on Friday intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern city of Najran after it was fired from rebel-held territory in neighboring Yemen, a Saudi-led military coalition said.

Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Najran without causing casualties, coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed the attack via their news outlet Al-Masirah, saying the “Badr 1” missile had targeted Najran.

The Iran-backed insurgents have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighboring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them.

A Houthi missile was intercepted over Jizan on Thursday after a similar strike on the southern city on Monday, according to Maliki, who said there were no casualties.

Saudi Arabia earlier this month tested a new siren system for the capital Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province, in a sign of the increasing challenge posed by the rebels’ arms.

Riyadh accuses its regional rival Tehran of supplying the Houthis with ballistic missiles, a charge Iran denies.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the rebels and restore the internationally-recognized government to power after the Houthis ousted it from swathes of the country including the capital Sanaa.

The conflict has left nearly 10,000 people dead and more than 55,000 wounded, according to the World Health Organization.

More than 2,200 others have died from cholera and millions are on the verge of famine in what the United Nations says is the world’s gravest humanitarian crisis.

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