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Saudis intercept missile over Riyadh, shoot down drones in south

12 April 2018

A missile fragment last month killed an Egyptian resident of Riyadh - the first death reported in the capital as a result of the missile strikes.

Houthi rebels have fired or claimed to have fired many missiles on Saudi Arabia since 2015, but they have caused little damage, and many of those missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.

Yemen's rebel Houthi movement launched earlier on Wednesday drone strikes on a Saudi Aramco facility and on an airport in Saudi Arabia, Houthi-owned Al-Masirah TV channel reported on Wednesday.

The Saudi-led coalition has been fighting to reinstate the internationally-recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi who was forced into exile by the Houthis.

The facility reportedly belonged to the oil giant Saudi Aramco.

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The arms monitor Conflict Armament Research says it has evidence that the drones used on Wednesday and other Houthi kit was made in Iran and was not of indigenous design and construction "in contrast to Houthi statements".

The Houthis a year ago unveiled the Qasef-1 drone, along with three other new types of drones used for surveillance and attack, claiming they were indigenously made.

The Houthis and their allies have used the drones to disable Patriot missile defence systems deployed by Saudi-led forces in Yemen, said auto.

The attack on Wednesday marked the fourth time in five months that missiles have flown over Riyadh, as the Houthis step up efforts to demonstrate they can reach the Saudi capital, and threatens to escalate a regional rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The kingdom accuses Iran of supplying missile parts and expertise to the Houthis. While missile strikes against Riyadh are growing in frequency, the Houthis have more often targeted southern Saudi border cities and towns.

Saudis intercept missile over Riyadh, shoot down drones in south