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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Saudi Arabia intercepts new Houthi missile from Yemen

The missile fired at the coastal city did not cause any casualties

Pro-Houthi Yemenis attend a rally against the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen, in Sanaa on April 5, 2018. Yahya Arhab / EPA
Pro-Houthi Yemenis attend a rally against the Saudi-led military operations in Yemen, in Sanaa on April 5, 2018. Yahya Arhab / EPA

Saudi air defences intercepted on Tuesday a ballistic missile that was fired from rebel-held territory in Yemen towards the western city of Yanbu, said the Arab coalition.

The missile fired at the coastal city did not cause any casualties, coalition spokesman Turki Al Maliki said in a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

“At exactly 4.11am, the coalition’s air defence noted a ballistic missiles launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia from Yemeni territory towards the kingdom,” he said.

The latest strike comes Yemeni forces — backed by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in the country on behalf of the internationally-recognised government — advance on the rebel-held Red Sea port of Al Hodeidah, the main conduit for humanitarian supplies into a country teetering on the brink of famine.

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Houthis using children as human shields in Yemen's Al Hodeidah, Arab coalition says

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UN special envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths is in talks with the Houthis to hand over controls of the Al Hodeidah port to the UN. He arrived in the rebel-held capital Sanaa on Saturday.

In late May, air defences intercepted Houthi missiles over the southern cities of Najran and Jizan, according to Col Al Malki, who said there were no casualties.

The Houthis have repeatedly fired missiles at Saudi Arabia, which the United States and UN experts say are of Iranian origin, a claim Tehran denies.

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 threat posed by the rebels' arms.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed in the Yemen war.