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Saudi Arabia shoots down Scud missile fired from Yemen

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A Suadi Patriot Shut Down a Houthi Scud Missile
A Suadi Patriot Shut Down a Houthi Scud Missile
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- Saudi Arabia said it shot down a Scud missile fired by Yemen’s Shiite rebels and their allies early Saturday at a Saudi city that is home to a large air base, marking a major escalation in the months-long war.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency, two missiles launched from a Patriot missile battery shot down the Scud before dawn around the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait.
The Saudi news agency did not report any casualties in the attack, the first use of a Cold War-era Scud by the rebels since Saudi-led airstrikes targeting the Houthis began in March.
The agency blamed Iranian-backed Houthis and their allies among forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Yemen’s state news agency SABA, now controlled by the Houthis, said the rebels and their allies fired the Scud.
Saudi Arabia leads a coalition targeting the rebels in airstrikes that began March 26 in support of the country’s exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Those strikes have targeted arms caches and Scud missile sites around the country.
The coalition responded to Saturday’s attack by targeting and damaging the launcher, which was located south of the Houthi stronghold of Saada, according to SPA.
Yemeni security officials said coalition planes launched at least six airstrikes early Saturday against a Houthi convoy heading toward Saada. Airstrikes also hit a convoy in Amran province
On Friday, the Houthis and Saleh’s forces launched a ground offensive targeting the Saudi border, prompting the kingdom to fire artillery and launch Apache attack helicopters, SPA also reported. It said "scores" of rebel forces were killed in a battle that lasted from dawn till noon, along with four Saudi soldiers.
The Saudis and Western powers accuse the Houthis of receiving military support from Shiite power Iran.

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