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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 23 June 2018

Three civilians killed in Saudi Arabia in Houthi missile attack

Non-combatants deliberately targeted, Arab coalition says

A Yemeni soldier stands guard as people bury the bodies of Houthi members killed during recent fighting along Yemen's western coast areas, during the funeral procession at a cemetery in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 9, 2018. Yahya Arhab / EPA
A Yemeni soldier stands guard as people bury the bodies of Houthi members killed during recent fighting along Yemen's western coast areas, during the funeral procession at a cemetery in Sanaa, Yemen, on June 9, 2018. Yahya Arhab / EPA

Three civilians were killed in the Jizan province in southern Saudi Arabia from a missile launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen, the Arab coalition said.

“At exactly 2.55pm [on Saturday], the southern operations centre announced that the terrorist Houthi militia that belongs to Iran had targeted civilians with rockets, and resulted in the martyrdom of three civilians in the Jizan region,” said Col Turki Al Malki, spokesman for the coalition fighting the rebels in Yemen on behalf of the internationally recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

“The projectile was deliberately launched to target civilians. These senseless actions of the Houthis fall under hostile acts against civilians.

“The Arab coalition will strike with an iron fist all those who threaten the safety and security of Saudi nationals, residents and capabilities.”

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On Sunday, King Salman of Saudi Arabia received a memo of condolences from the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Jaber, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

"The emir said in his note that these repeated hostile actions target the safety and security of the kingdom, its people and residents and violate international laws," said the report.

Sheikh Sabah said that Kuwait stood by Saudi Arabia and by any decisions it took to protect itself.

The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, intervened in the Yemen war in 2015 at the request of Mr Hadi’s government.

The latest strike at Saudi Arabia comes as Yemeni forces, backed by the coalition, advance on the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeidah, the main conduit for humanitarian supplies into a country on the brink of famine.

The Houthis claimed to have launched another missile at pro-government forces fighting on the western coast on Sunday, a day after suffering heavy losses there.

The army's Al Amalikah brigade captured two areas about 12 kilometres south of Hodeidah city after heavy fighting on Saturday. The brigade was also involved in an ambush of the Houthi rebels in southern Hodeidah province in which at least 45 rebels were killed, including a high-ranking officer, spokesman Aseel Al Sakladi told The National.

He said the rebels were attempting to recapture the Al Jah intersection west of Bait Al Faqih district.

Separately, an army officer was assassinated in Taez city on Saturday evening by masked gunmen on a motorcycle.

Maj Gen Radhwan Al Oudaini, commander of Al Ousbah brigade, was killed and four of his guards were severely injured when the gunmen opened fire in the street of the Republican hospital in the middle of the city, Tariq Al Mulaiki, a journalist working with the army in Taez, told The National.