Two ballistic missiles fired at Saudi Arabia from Yemen

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Two ballistic missiles were fired from Yemen at Saudi Arabia, one of which was intercepted by the kingdom’s air defences, the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemeni rebels said Friday.

The other missile struck an area of desert east of the Saudi city of Najran, the coalition said in a statement carried by the kingdom’s SPA state news agency, without reporting any casualties.

“The leadership of the coalition asserts that while it is committed to the success of the negotiations in Geneva … it will not abide by the ceasefire for long in the shadow of this threat to the kingdom’s territory,” SPA said.

The UN-sponsored peace talks began away from television cameras on Tuesday in the hope of ending nearly nine months of conflict that have killed almost 6,000 people and displaced millions.

Sources close to the talks said direct talks between Hadi’s government and the Al Houthis had been suspended since Wednesday evening, after Al Houthis rejected demands for the release of detained senior officials, including Defence Minister Mahmoud Al Subaihi and President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s brother Nasser.

In Geneva, UN spokesman Ahmed Fawzi said on Friday: “We expect the talks to continue. We continue to work with both sides. Sometimes we are working in separate sessions, sometimes together, based on what we think is more effective.” On Thursday, the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Esmail Ould Shaikh Ahmad, said the third day of peace talks had produced “a major step forward” on the humanitarian front – agreement on aid for the war-torn city of Taiz – that would pave the way to further agreements on aid and other issues in coming days.

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