Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi missile near Mecca
Yemenis look at the damage following reported Saudi-led coalition air strikes on October 27, 2016 in Khamis Bani Saad district in al-Mahwit governorate. (AFP/Stringer)
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A Saudi-led military coalition on Thursday announced it had intercepted a "ballistic missile" some 65 kilometers from Mecca, which, coalition officials claimed, had been fired by Yemen’s Shia Houthi militia.
The official Saudi Press Agency quoted a coalition commander as saying that the missile was fired from Yemen’s northeastern Saada province, a traditional Houthi stronghold.
The coalition responded by "targeting the area from which the missile was fired," the commander said without elaborating.
The alleged ballistic missile launch was not the first incident of its kind.
On Oct. 9, the coalition announced the successful interception of a missile, which, it alleged, had likewise been fired towards Mecca by Houthi militiamen.
Yemen has been racked by chaos since late 2014, when the Houthis and their allies overran capital Sanaa and other parts of the country, forcing members of Yemen’s Saudi-backed government to temporarily flee to Riyadh.
The conflict escalated in March of last year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Muslim allies launched a massive military campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains in Yemen and restoring the country’s embattled government.