Saudi intercepts missile targeting Riyadh from Yemen

039;18 out of 27 mln Yemenis in need of humanitarian assistance’ – former UN Human Rights Officer

Yemen's Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for an explosion in Riyadh, saying they fired a long-range ballistic missile that travelled 500km over the border with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia said the missile was shot down by its air defense forces, with fragments of the missile landing in an uninhabited area north of the capital.

The missile was destroyed near Riyadh's King Khaled International Airport, which was functioning normally, it added.

The missile was sacked across Saudi Arabia's southern border by Yemen's Houthi rebels, who are at war with the kingdom.

The attack came after the Houthi militia failed to launch a missile at Saudi Arabia on October 30.

Al Jazeera could not independently verify the reports.

"And then we have a claim from Houthi rebels in Yemen that they fired a long-range missile at Riyadh and the Saudi air defence forces saying it has intercepted a long distance missile that it believes was sacked from Yemen". Yemen is 500 or 600 miles south of Riyadh.

"If the Iranians have supplied a long distance missile, which is the only explanation really, then the big question is how will the Saudis respond".

Saudi Arabia has been fighting a proxy war in Yemen against Iran, which it accuses of arming the Houthi rebels.

Airstrikes later in the day targeted Yemen's capital Sanaa, causing homes to shake and breaking windows.

A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Houthis and their allies in Yemen since March 2015 in a war that has devastated Yemen and killed thousands of people.

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