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Saudi Arabia downs Yemeni rebel missile: state media

RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi Arabia said its air defences on Friday intercepted a missile fired by Yemeni rebels, days after the insurgents second-in-command was killed in an air raid by Riyadh and its allies.

The ballistic missile, the latest in a series of similar attacks, was headed towards the kingdom s southern coastal city of Jizan, the official state news agency said. No casualties were reported.

Saudi Arabia launched a military coalition in 2015 to battle the Huthi rebels in its southern neighbour and restore the internationally-recognised Yemeni government to power.

The Huthis control Yemen s capital, Sanaa, as well as much of Yemen s north and the key Hodeida port on the country s western coastline.

Riyadh on Wednesday confirmed it was behind an air strike on the Yemeni capital that killed Saleh al-Sammad, president of the Huthis Supreme Political Council, on April 19.

The rebels will hold a public funeral for Sammad in Sanaa on Saturday.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen conflict, triggering what the United Nations has called the world s worst humanitarian crisis.

Yemen now stands at the brink of famine.

The alliance imposed a total blockade on Yemen s ports in November in retaliation for the rebel missile attacks. The blockade has since been partially lifted, but access to the impoverished country remains limited.

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