Saudi forces say its defence systems intercepted Yemeni rebel ballistic missile

Saudi air defences intercept missile fired at capital Riyadh as residents report three explosions over the city

Saudi Arabia's air defences on Wednesday "intercepted" a ballistic missile fired from rebel-held Yemen at Riyadh, a military spokesman said, adding two others were shot down in southern Saudi Arabia.

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.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the beginning of the conflict.

An Associated Press reporter in Riyadh heard three loud explosions overhead just before sunset Wednesday.

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Al-Masirah TV said the Houthis used a Qasef-1 drone to disrupt air traffic at Abha airport and to target a Saudi Aramco facility in Jizan in response to what it described as "Saudi-American crimes against Yemenis".

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.

Evidence documented by the Conflict Armament Research group, or vehicle, said the Qasef-1 drone appears to be Iranian-manufactured and has been supplied in batches to Houthi forces in Yemen.

"The air force announced the execution of air strikes with the Qasif 1 aircraft on Aramco in Jizan (province)", al-Masirah said on its official Twitter account, according to Reuters.

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Wednesday's missiles followed the downing of two Houthi drones earlier in the day in Jizan and the nearby Saudi city of Abha, the coalition said. Saudi Arabia and the coalition it leads in Yemen accuse the Houthi movement of being sponsored and backed by Iran, while Tehran and the rebels deny those charges.

The Houthis, in a statement carried by a news agency under their control, said the attack on Riyadh was directed at the defence ministry.

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

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