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Saudis intercept seven ballistic missiles fired at cities by Houthis in Yemen

By
Ed Adamczyk
Houthi rebel commander Abdel-Malik al-Houthi appears on a television screen after a December 19, 2017, missile attack on Saudi Arabia. Seven ballistic missiles were fired at Saudi civilian targets on Sunday. Although one person was killed, all the missiles were intercepted, Saudi officials said. Photo by Yahya Arhab/EPA-EFE
Houthi rebel commander Abdel-Malik al-Houthi appears on a television screen after a December 19, 2017, missile attack on Saudi Arabia. Seven ballistic missiles were fired at Saudi civilian targets on Sunday. Although one person was killed, all the missiles were intercepted, Saudi officials said. Photo by Yahya Arhab/EPA-EFE

March 26 (UPI) -- Saudi Arabia announced that it intercepted seven ballistic missiles fired at Riyadh, its capital, and other major cities, the largest barrage in its three-year war in Yemen.

The missiles were fired late Sunday, a day before the third anniversary of Saudi Arabia's involvement in the war against Iranian-supported Houthi rebels in Yemen. The Houthi-aligned Saba news agency reported that airports in Riyadh, Aseer and Najran were targeted.

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One person, an Egyptian national, was killed by fragments of the missile fired in the Riyadh attack.

The escalation in the conflict, which on Sunday clearly targeted civilian populations in Saudi Arabia, could reinforce Riyadh's demands to curtail the influence of Iran in the region. The United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan condemned the missile attacks on Monday, pledging to stand in solidarity with the Saudis. Each is a member of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

"This aggressive and hostile action by the Iran-backed Al Houthi group proves that the Iranian regime continues to support the armed group with military capabilities," coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki said. "The firing of multiple ballistic missiles towards cities is a serious development."

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