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Saudi says it intercepts Houthi missile; shrapnel wounds 26

Attack comes on eve of United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Geneva
More than 185 Houthi missiles have been launched since 2015, according to coalition figures (AFP)

Saudi Arabia shot down a ballistic missile fired by Yemen's Houthi rebels late Wednesday, with shrapnel leaving 26 people wounded, the Riyadh-led coalition fighting the rebels said.

Two children were among the wounded from the missile that was intercepted over the southern Saudi city of Najran, said a coalition statement published by Saudi state media.

The Houthis have in recent months ramped up missile attacks against Saudi Arabia, which Riyadh says it mostly intercepts.

The Houthis’ Al-Masirah TV said Wednesday's strike was targeted at a Saudi National Guard camp in the border city.

The attack brings the tally to more than 185 rebel missiles launched since 2015, according to the coalition, which that year joined the Yemeni government's fight against the rebels.

In 2014, the Houthis overran the Yemeni capital and seized control of much of northern part of the country as well as a string of ports on the Red Sea.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their allies intervened in the conflict the following March, aiming to push back the Houthis and restore the government to power.

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

Wednesday's attack comes on the eve of United Nations-sponsored peace talks in Geneva, the first public meetings between the government of Abd Rabbuh Hadi and Houthi rebels since 2016.

A group of UN experts in late August said that Saudi and Emirati forces may have committed war crimes in Yemen.

A report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights concluded that individuals in the governments of Yemen, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could be prosecuted for acts that amount to international crimes “subject to determination by an independent and competent court".

The war in the impoverished country has left at least 10,000 people dead and unleashed what the UN describes as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN last issued a figure for casualties in the conflict in January 2017. Thousands more have died of cholera and malnutrition.