JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – A Saudi university near the Yemen border caught fire early Thursday after the kingdom’s air defenses intercepted a barrage of ballistic missiles and bomb-laden drones.
The interception of scattered debris on Jazan University campus resulting in a fire that has been contained, said the coalition at war led by Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen. No one was said to have been killed and there were no immediate reports of injuries.
In the statement, the Iran-backed Houthi group was held responsible for the attack. The five ballistic missiles and four bomb-laden drones were specifically aimed at civilian areas and were fired from the rebel stronghold in Saada, Yemen. The Houthis have carried out similar attacks in the past.
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The conflict in Yemen was triggered by the takeover of the capital Sanaa by the Houthis in 2014, which forced the internationally recognized government to flee the city. A coalition led by Saudi Arabia, which until recently was backed by the US, has been fighting the Houthis since almost always.
The United Nations Humanitarian Bureau says the war caused an estimated 233,000 deaths, including 131,000 from indirect causes such as lack of food, health services and infrastructure. The conflict followed years of unrest and protests in Yemen against endemic corruption and government mismanagement.
Political blockades and conflicts in Yemen have caused the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Aid groups report that more than 20 million people in the impoverished Arab nation are food insecure and half of them are at risk of famine.
Rights groups have criticized all parties to the conflict, but note that Saudi-led air strikes have often been disproportionate and have killed thousands of civilians.
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