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‘Saudi Arabia intercepts new missile fired from Yemen’

By AFP - May 22,2018 - Last updated at May 22,2018

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Saudi air defences on Monday intercepted a ballistic missile over southern city Jizan fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition said.

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

Yemen’s Iran-allied Houthi rebels have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition against them.

Two rebel missiles targeted the southern city of Khamis Mushait on Saturday, according to Maliki. One missile was intercepted and destroyed by Saudi forces, while the other crashed in an unpopulated desert area, he said.

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 increased challenge posed by the rebels’ armaments.

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 with the aim of pushing back the rebels and restoring the internationally recognised government to power.

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

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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