Published On: Tue, Jan 26th, 2021

Loud explosion shakes Riyadh days after Saudi Arabia intercepts projectile

Loud explosion shakes Riyadh days after Saudi Arabia intercepts projectile

Residents said the explosion rattled windows in the Saudi capital and saw air defences intercept a missile

MEE and agencies Tue, 01/26/2021 – 14:08

It is rare for drones or missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi rebels to reach the Saudi capital, which is 700 km away from the border (AFP)

A loud explosion rocked Riyadh on Tuesday, just days after Saudi Arabia intercepted a projectile over the Gulf kingdom’s capital. 

Residents told AFP that the explosion rattled windows in Riyadh at 1pm local time, with some on social media claiming to have heard two explosions. 

Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV cited local reports of an explosion and videos on social media allegedly showing a missile being intercepted in Riyadh. 

There was no immediate reaction to the explosion from Saudi Arabia, which has fended off drone attacks from Yemen’s Houthi rebels since 2015, when Riyadh began leading an international military coalition fighting in Yemen.

Last week, the Saudi-led coalition said it intercepted and destroyed a “hostile air target” heading towards Riyadh, local state media said. 

The statement did not identify the source of the target, and the Houthis said they were not involved in the attack. 

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Saudi Arabia began its military intervention against the Houthis in 2015, supporting exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

The Gulf kingdom has since been targeted in a number of cross-border attacks. However, it is rare for drones or missiles launched by the Houthis to reach the kingdom’s capital, which is 700 km from the border.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden froze sanctions against the Houthis for one month, as his new administration reviews a terror blacklisting imposed by then-President Donald Trump that aid groups fear would aggravate the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. 

Relief groups say they have no choice but to work with rebel forces that control most of Yemen.

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