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Big explosions rock the capital of Saudi Arabia

RIYADH, KOMPAS.com – Violent explosions rocked Riyadh on Tuesday (26/1/2021), three days after the kingdom intercepted a projectile fired over the Saudi capital.

There was no immediate reaction from Saudi Arabia, which has been hit repeatedly by missiles or drones. The attacks, which were said to have been carried out by Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen, date back to 2015.

“The explosion shook a window in the Saudi capital at around 1pm local time (17:00 WIB),” said an eye witness. Al Jazeera on Tuesday (26/1/2021)

Several residents on social media reported hearing two explosions.

TV Al Arabiya Saudi Arabia cited local reports of the explosion and videos circulating on social media of a missile intercepted in Riyadh.

Also read: Saudi Arabia Intercepts Missile Attack on Riyadh, 2 Civilians Wounded

State television reported on Saturday (23/1/2021) that the Saudi-led coalition, which supports Yemen’s internationally recognized government against the Houthis, said it was intercepting and destroying “enemy air targets” towards Riyadh.

The brief statement did not identify the target source. Meanwhile the Houthis said they were not involved.

Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport said there were a number of flight delays following Saturday’s incident.

Saudi Arabia has led the military intervention against the Houthis since 2015 and has been the target of repeated cross-border attacks.

However, it is rare for a drone or missile launched by the Houthis to reach the royal capital – some 700 km (435 miles) from the border.

The incident came just days after Joe Biden was sworn in as US President, replacing Donald Trump.

Also read: Saudi Arabia implements lockdown in Riyadh, Mecca and Medina

On Monday (25/1/2021), Biden’s government suspended sanctions on the deal with the Houthis for one month.

The United States is reviewing a “terrorism blacklist” imposed under Trump. Humanitarian aid groups warn it could exacerbate an already devastating humanitarian crisis.

The group says they have no alternative but to confront rebels who control much of Yemen, including the capital, Sanaa.

Also read: 57 Troops in Syria Killed in Israel’s Deadliest Air Strike

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