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4 Nov, 2017 18:19

Saudi Arabia says it intercepts ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh

Saudi Arabia says it intercepts ballistic missile northeast of Riyadh

A ballistic missile launched from Yemen was intercepted northeast of Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, according to state media. There have also been reports of a loud explosion heard at the capital’s airport.

The Saudi air force shot down the alleged weapon on Saturday, Al Arabiya reports, adding that no damage has been caused. The missile was allegedly aimed at the King Khalid International Airport.

Yemeni Houthi forces have claimed responsibility for the attempted strike, Al Jazeera reported, citing a spokesman for the rebels. A missile with a range of more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) was launched toward Riyadh late Saturday, having flown more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) over the border.

Saudi Arabia's civil aviation authority said on its official Twitter account that while "the rocket landed on the airport's premises," little damage was caused and all airport facilities were undamaged.

The King Khalid International Airport also posted a statement for passengers, saying that all flights are being operated normally and according to schedule.

Unverified videos have emerged on YouTube allegedly showing the aftermath of the incident. In one of the clips, people can be seen running in all directions, as what looks like smoke rises and some loud explosions and sirens are heard in the background.

Earlier this week, the Saudi-led coalition launched an airstrike on Yemen, hitting a market and a hotel building in the northern Saadah province. At least 26 people were killed in the raid, Reuters reported, citing medics and a witness. The coalition released a statement on Saturday claiming the site was a legitimate target, being a gathering point for Houthi fighters.

In July, the Saudi-led military coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen announced they had averted an attack targeting the Muslim holy city of Mecca. A ballistic missile allegedly launched from Yemen was then reportedly intercepted by Saudi armed forces.