Saudi Arabia on Sunday said it had intercepted two Burkan missiles over Riyadh that were launched from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, Al Jazeera reported.

At least six loud blasts were heard in the city and bright flashes were seen in the sky. Shrapnel was seen on a street in the diplomatic quarters, where most of the embassies are located.

Saudi Arabia and an alliance of Muslim states intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 to push back Houthi rebels after they deposed the internationally recognised government of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Thousands have died and millions have have been displaced since the coalition got involved in the war. The rebels have retaliated by firing missiles at the kingdom.

(Courtesy: Saudi Gazette)

“Saudi Royal Air Defence Forces intercepted and destroyed the missiles,” said Colonel Turki al-Malki, the spokesperson for the Saudi-led coalition. “Some of the debris of the intercepted missiles landed on residential areas, thankfully without causing any casualties.”

The Houthi-run media said the missiles were fired at the Saudi defence ministry and other targets. “The longer the aggression and war continue, the greater our ballistic missile capabilities,” Al Mayadeen TV quoted Houthi spokesperson Mohammed Abdul-Salam as saying.

This was the first attack since the coalition launched an offensive last week to capture the Hudaida port city in Yemen in an effort to weaken the Houthis by cutting their main supply line.