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  1. ITV Report

Saudi Arabia says ballistic missile 'fired from Yemen' intercepted close to Riyadh airport

The missile was shot down on the outskirts of Riyadh. Credit: PA

Saudi Arabia has claimed it shot down a ballistic missile fired at its capital by rebels in Yemen.

The rocket was said to have been brought down near one of the kingdom's major international airports on the outskirts of Riyadh.

It is believed to have come over the southern border with Yemen and fired by Houthi rebels.

A Saudi-led coalition has been fighting a war with the Yemeni rebels since March 2015.

Yemen's civil war has killed more than 10,000 civilians so far, displaced three million others and pushed the Arab world's poorest country to the brink of famine.

A Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Houthis and their allies in Yemen since March 2015. Credit: AP

A number of Yemeni media outlets claimed the rocket was fired from inside the country.

But Saudi Arabia said the missile, which was taken out by its air defence, caused minimal damage.

Flights were not disrupted from King Khalid International Airport.

Despite its apparent lack of success, the missile is the first time Houthi rebels have come close to harming a heavily populated area in Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh is around 620 miles north of the border with its neighbour.

A Saudi military spokesman condemned the attack in a statement, saying the missile was fired "indiscriminately" toward a populated civilian area.

A missile was fired toward Riyadh in May, a day before US President Donald Trump landed at King Khalid airport. Credit: AP

US president Donald Trump blamed Iran for the attack.

He said: "A shot was just taken by Iran, in my opinion, at Saudi Arabia. And our system (Patriot missile batteries purchased from US) knocked it down.

"That's how good we are. Nobody makes what we make and now we're selling it all over the world.

Saudi Arabia believes rival Iran trains and helps arm Houthi rebels.

Iran denies that it has provided material support, but acknowledges its political support of the Houthis.