Skip to main content

Saudi says 3 civilians killed by Yemen missile as peace talks enter last day

Yemen rivals hold final day of peace talks on Sunday in Switzerland as war rages on in Yemen despite agreeing on ceasefire
Yemeni tribesmen from the pro-government Popular Resistance Committees, fire as they hold a position in the area of Sirwah, west of Marib city, on 18 December 2015 (AFP)

A missile fired from war-torn Yemen has struck a Saudi border city, killing three civilians, the kingdom said, in yet another violation of a ceasefire aimed at helping peace talks.

Saturday's attack on Najran left one Saudi citizen and two Indian workers dead, according to a civil defence spokesman quoted by the official SPA news agency. 

It comes after the Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen announced that two ballistic missiles were fired Friday at the kingdom from its neighbour.

One of the missiles was intercepted by Saudi air defences, while the other struck a desert area east of Najran, the coalition said without reporting any casualties in that incident.

The attack had prompted Saudi Arabia's border guard to repeat a warning that residents should stay away from the frontier.

On Thursday the civil defence agency said a civilian had been wounded in the Jazan border region by shelling from Yemen.

The ceasefire has been repeatedly breached since it came into force as UN-sponsored talks opened Tuesday in Switzerland.

Since March, Saudi Arabia has led an Arab coalition whose warplanes and troops have supported embattled President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi against the Houthi militiamen who have seized the capital and other areas.

More than 5,800 people have been killed - about half of them civilians - and over 27,000 wounded in Yemen since then, according to the UN.

In Saudi Arabia, more than 80 people, most of them soldiers and border guards, have died in shelling and cross-border skirmishes since March.

Sunday is last day of peace talks in Switzerland

Fierce fighting between government forces and Houthi militiamen in Yemen produced heavy casualties on Saturday amid UN alarm at ceasefire violations ahead of a final day of peace talks in Switzerland.

At least 68 people were killed near the northern town of Haradh, which was overrun by loyalists on Thursday, military and tribal sources said.

The casualties were 28 troops and 40 Houthi militiamen, with another 50 Houthis and 40 loyalists wounded.

The United Nations confirmed that Sunday would be the last day of the talks.

UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed will hold a news conference later Saturday in Bern "on the conclusion of the Yemen peace talks held this week in Switzerland," a statement said.

Meanwhile, loyalist forces were within 40 kilometres of Houthi-held capital Sanaa as they pressed their advance against the insurgents, military sources said.

Pro-government forces supported by a Saudi-led coalition were keeping up pressure in Sanaa province's Nihm district after significant gains in Marib province east of the capital.

The forces loyal to President Hadi, and allied tribes in the area, have laid siege to Nihm's Fardha military base northeast of the capital.

Middle East Eye delivers independent and unrivalled coverage and analysis of the Middle East, North Africa and beyond. To learn more about republishing this content and the associated fees, please fill out this form. More about MEE can be found here.