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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi-launched missile aimed at airbase 

The missile fired from Yemen targeted Khamis Mushait, a city in south-western Saudi Arabia that's home to one of the Kingdom’s biggest military bases, the King Khalid Air Base

A supporter of Houthi Shiites displays a poster of Abdel Malek Al Houthi, the leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels, on his jacket during a rally to mark the third anniversary of the Houthis' takeover of the Yemeni capital, in Sanaa, Yemen.  The rebels launched a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia just three days after the rally. Hani Mohammed / AP
A supporter of Houthi Shiites displays a poster of Abdel Malek Al Houthi, the leader of Yemen's Shiite rebels, on his jacket during a rally to mark the third anniversary of the Houthis' takeover of the Yemeni capital, in Sanaa, Yemen. The rebels launched a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia just three days after the rally. Hani Mohammed / AP

Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels and their allies in Yemen during the kingdom's National Day.

Colonel Turki Al Malki said the Saudi Royal Air Force detected the launch of a ballistic missile on Saturday from within Yemeni territory aimed at Saudi Arabia.

The missile targeted Khamis Mushait, a city in south-western Saudi Arabia that's home to one of the Kingdom’s biggest military bases, the King Khalid Air Base, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The missile was headed towards “the city of Khamis Mushait and was intercepted and destroyed without any casualties,” Col Al malki said.

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He added that the control of ballistic weapons by the Houthis represents a threat to regional and international security and that the missiles are the biggest indication that weapons are still being smuggled into the country through the rebel-controlled Hodeidah port, he said.

The Houthis and their allies are known to have access to a stockpile of Soviet missiles and other locally designed variants. Saudi Arabia has also accused Iran of providing weapons to the rebel group.

The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, and Yemeni forces drove the Iran-backed rebels from much of southern Yemen, but the fighting became bogged down in Taez province and along the Red Sea coast.

A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting alongside the forces of the internationally-recognised government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi’s against the Houthis since March 2015.

The UN said that more than 8,400 people have been killed and more than three million have been displaced in Yemen's civil war, pushing the country to the brink of famine and sparking a widespread cholera epidemic

The World Health Organisation and Yemen's health ministry said the cholera outbreak in the country has infected 612,703 people and killed 2,048 since it began in April. Some districts are still reporting rises in new cases.

However, the overall spread of the epidemic has slowed in the past couple of months, with the daily number of new suspected cases cut to around 3,000 in recent days.

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