Islamabad/RIYADH  -  Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned the latest Huthi militia missile attack on Jizan in Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, the foreign ministry expressed “deep concern at the sad news of three casualties in the attack.” It added: “Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with Saudi Arabia against any threats to its territorial integrity and against the Haramain Sharifain (the two holy mosques).”

Earlier, Saudi air defences intercepted a ballistic missile over the southern city of Jizan after being fired from rebel-held territory in neighbouring Yemen, a Saudi-led military coalition said.

Debris from the missile landed in residential areas of Jizan without causing casualties, the coalition said in a statement released by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Iran-backed Huthi rebels have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which leads a military coalition that has fought the insurgents since 2015.

The attack comes a day after three civilians were killed in Jizan when Huthi rebels fired a "projectile" at the province, according to the coalition.

The strike coincides with the advance of coalition-backed Yemeni forces on the rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida, the main conduit for humanitarian supplies into a country teetering on the brink of famine.

In late May, air defences intercepted Huthi missiles over the southern cities of Najran and Jizan, according to the coalition, which said there were no casualties.

Saudi Arabia last month tested a new siren system for the capital Riyadh and the oil-rich Eastern Province, in a sign of the increasing threat posed by the rebels' arms.

Riyadh accuses its regional rival Tehran of supplying the Huthis with ballistic missiles, a charge Iran denies.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other allies intervened in Yemen in 2015 to push back the rebels and restore the internationally-recognised government to power after the Huthis ousted it from swathes of the country including the capital Sanaa.

Nearly 10,000 people have been killed since the alliance launched its intervention in Yemen in March 2015, contributing to what the UN has called the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

 

 

 

Our staff reporter/AFP