A ballistic missile launched by the Yemini rebels towards the Muslim holy city of Mecca has been intercepted by the Saudi-led coalition's air defence system.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported today that the missile launch was a desperate attempt to disrupt this year's Haj pilgrimage.
The missile was intercepted 69 kilometres (43 miles) south of the city in western Saudi Arabia, the coalition said in a statement.
Occasional ballistic missile attacks, as well as more frequent short-range rocket fire over the southern border, have in the past been conducted after coalition air strikes against the rebels in Yemen and is not the first time rebels have fired in the direction of Mecca.
In October last year, Al Houthi rebels of Yemen launched one of their longest-range strikes against Saudi Arabia, firing a ballistic missile that was shot down near Makkah. A Burkan-1 ballistic missile was aimed at King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, the kingdom’s busiest airport where most foreign pilgrims to Makkah arrive.
Following month at the same year, Saudi Arabia had intercepted 11 Scud missiles aimed to take down the holy site.
The war has killed more than 8,000 people and wounded 44,500 since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the conflict in 2015.