Saudi forces down missile fired by Yemen’s Houthis – agency

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DOHA (Reuters) – Saudi air defence forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi group toward Khamees Mushait city in the kingdom’s southwest on Tuesday night, a Saudi-led coalition said in a statement carried by the state news agency SPA.

Houthi forces, Iran-allied rebels from northern Yemen who triggered a war when they took control of the capital and forced the Yemeni government into exile, fire missiles or mortars almost daily into southern Saudi border areas. They also launch cross-border raids.

The Houthis said on Twitter that their missile was aimed at Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Military Camp located about 40 km (25 miles) north of the Yemeni border.

But the Royal Saudi Air Defence Forces destroyed the missile before it could cause any damage, according to the statement by the coalition, which since March 2015 has been fighting the Houthis and launching air strikes across Yemen to try to restore the Saudi-backed government of exiled President Abd-Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Saudi forces responded to the missile attack by attacking the launch site, the statement added.

The missile attack comes days after an apparent Saudi-led air strike killed 140 mourners at a funeral in Sanaa attended by powerful tribal leaders.

U.S. officials said on Wednesday that they see growing indications that Houthi rebels were responsible for an attack on Sunday on a Navy destroyer off the Yemen coast.

The Houthis have denied firing at the USS Mason guided missile destroyer and the USS Ponce, an amphibious transport dock.

(Reporting by Tom Finn, Editing by William Maclean, Michael Perry and Raissa Kasolowsky)

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