Houthi rebels resume attacks on urban areas in Saudi Arabia

Coalition clears 5,000 landmines in Yemen's Hajjah governorate

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki speaks during a news conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia March 26, 2018. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser
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Yemen's Houthi rebels launched rockets and drones towards Saudi Arabia as the kingdom attempted to clear 5,000 landmines from its divided neighbour.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen on behalf of the internationally recognised government said on Saturday it had destroyed an armed drone in Yemeni airspace that was sent by the Iran-backed rebels towards the kingdom.

"They were launched to target civilians in a systematic and deliberate manner," coalition spokesman Brig Gen Turki Al Maliki said.

Elsewhere in the kingdom, authorities in south-western Jazan city reported debris from a missile that was launched by the rebels in the direction of Al Harath governorate.

No injuries or damage were reported but authorities said the missile was similar to a Katyusha rocket, and shrapnel was found in areas around the governorate.

It fell in a garden adjacent to Al Harath Hospital.

Bahrain and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the attack as “terror practices" of the rebels and supporters who fund them financially and militarily.

Bahrain called on the international community to take urgent steps to stop the rebels from similar acts that will "threaten regional and international stability".

"This cowardly act constitutes a blatant attack on the kingdom's sovereignty and stability and the safety of its citizens," the Bahraini Foreign Ministry said.

Bahrain affirmed its stance and support for Saudi Arabia against "anything that targets its security and stability". It stressed that it will take all measures to defend its territory.

The incidents happened as a joint Saudi-backed Sudanese-Yemeni military force cleared nearly 5,000 landmines from Yemen, which they said were planted by the rebels, Saudi state news agency reported.

The mines were found in the northern coastal town of Midi, located in Hajjah governorate near the border with Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea.

According to a major in the Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, the mines included anti-vehicle, anti-personnel and remote control devices of different sizes.

The mine clearance teams also dealt with unexploded ordnance and improvised bombs.

The agency said the rebels, who took over the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, had planted thousands of devices in residential neighbourhoods and public roads, causing hundreds of civilian casualties.