Saudi intercepts missiles over curfew-locked Riyadh, border city

Updated: 30 March, 2020 07:27 IST | Agencies | Riyadh

Their interception sent shrapnel raining on residential neighbourhoods in the cities, leaving two civilians injured in Riyadh, a civil defence spokesman said in a separate statement released by SPA.\

It was the first major assault on Saudi since the Huthis offered to halt attacks on the kingdom last September. File pic/AFP
It was the first major assault on Saudi since the Huthis offered to halt attacks on the kingdom last September. File pic/AFP

Saudi air defences intercepted ballistic missiles over Riyadh and a city on the Yemen border late Saturday, leaving at least two civilians wounded in the capital that is under curfew in a bid to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

Multiple explosions shook Riyadh in the attack, which the Saudi-led military coalition blamed on Yemen's Iran-aligned Huthi rebels who have previously targeted Saudi with missiles, rockets and drones. It was the first major assault on Saudi Arabia since the Huthis offered last September to halt attacks on the kingdom after devastating twin strikes on Saudi oil installations. "Two ballistic missiles were launched towards the cities of Riyadh and Jizan," Saudi Press Agency reported, citing the coalition fighting the rebels. Their interception sent shrapnel raining on residential neighbourhoods in the cities, leaving two civilians injured in Riyadh, a civil defence spokesman said in a separate statement released by SPA.

There was no immediate comment from the rebels. At least three blasts rocked the capital, which is under a 15-hour Coronavirus curfew, just before midnight, said AFP reporters. Jizan, like many other Saudi cities, faces a shorter dusk-to-dawn curfew. The assault comes despite a show of support on Thursday by all of Yemen's warring parties for a United Nations call for a ceasefire to protect civilians from the coronavirus pandemic. Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni government and the rebels all welcomed an appeal from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for an "immediate global ceasefire" to help avert disaster for vulnerable people in conflict zones. The Yemen government condemned the attack, which it said undermined efforts to scale down the conflict amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

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First Published: 30 March, 2020 06:29 IST

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