Saudi Arabia’s defence forces on Saturday intercepted a ballistic missile, fired from Yemen, and brought it down over the capital city Riyadh, Reuters reported, quoting state news agencies. Fragments of the missile landed near the airport, but there were no casualties.
A loud explosion was heard around 8.20 pm local time when the missile was brought down. However, air traffic was not affected, according to Saudi Arabia’s General Civil Aviation Authority.
The missile was fired at 8.07 pm local time, the spokesperson of a Saudi-led military coalition said, adding that Saudi forces used a surface-to-air missile to destroy it. It landed in an uninhabited area east of the airport.
The Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen told Al Jazeera that they had launched the missile. “The capital cities of countries that continually shell us, targeting innocent civilians, will not be spared from our missiles,” said a spokesperson.
The Houthis control a large part of Yemen. They have been fighting Yemen’s internationally recognised government, which is backed by the Saudi-led military alliance.
The war has killed at least 10,000 people and displaced over three million since February 2014, Al Jazeera quoted a United Nations report as saying.