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Saudi Arabia intercepts 7 missiles fired from Yemen, military officials say

Saudi Arabia’s air force intercepted seven missiles fired from Yemen on Sunday, according to an official with the country’s Ministry of Information.

Col. Turki Al Maliki, citing Coalition Defense Forces, said the missiles had four target areas: three were aimed at the capital city of Riyadh, one was headed toward the southwest in Khamis Mushait, one along the southern border targeting Najran and two were headed for the southern city of Jizan. All seven missiles were intercepted and destroyed, according to a Saudi news release.

The interception of the missiles led to fragments “raining on a few residential neighborhoods,” the release states, which led to the death of an Egyptian resident and material damage to “civilian objects.”

“These aggressive actions are in blatant violation to the UN Security Resolution 2216 and 2231. These hostile acts continue to pose a direct threat to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and threaten regional, as well as international, security,” the release said.

Previous missiles directed at Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of states against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who toppled that country’s internationally recognized government in 2015.

Between November and December of last year, the Saudi air force intercepted at least two missiles targeting its capital. However, Yemeni rebels have continued targeting locations along the country’s border with Yemen.

On November 4, Yemeni rebels targeted an airport in Riyadh with a ballistic missile, according to Yemen’s Houthi-controlled Defense Ministry. The missile was intercepted over the city, the Saudi Ministry of Defense said in a statement carried on government-backed Al-Arabiya television.

Yemen’s Defense Ministry said the missile attack “shook the Saudi capital” and the operation was successful. The attack was conducted using a long-range missile called the Burqan 2H, it said.

The Riyadh airport tweeted that it hadn’t been affected.

On December 19, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen said it intercepted a ballistic missile south of Riyadh, according to Saudi state television station Al Ekhbariya.

The missile did not cause any damage.

The missile was headed to a residential area in the Saudi capital, before it was intercepted, Saudi Arabia’s official news agency reported.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed AbdulSalam said on his Twitter account that the rebels fired the Burqan 2H ballistic missile, targeting the prestigious Yamama Palace hotel in the Saudi capital. The Burqan missile is an Iranian-modified scud missile.