Yemen's Houthi rebels have been accused of targeting Saudi Arabia's holy city of Mecca by launching a long-range ballistic missile from 500km over the border. The rebels and their ally Iran vehemently denied the allegation on Friday. The Saudi-led military coalition - which is backing Yemen's pro-government forces in the conflict with the Shia fighters - said the missile was "intercepted and destroyed" before it could do any damage - about 65km from Mecca, home to some of Islam's most sacred sites. It would be the deepest strike yet to hit Saudi Arabia, which has been engaged in a series of deadly border clashes with the Houthis since they overthrew the Yemeni government in 2014 and seized large parts of the country, including the capital, Sanaa. Mohammed al-Bekheity, a Houthi leader, denied that the missile targeted Mecca.
The Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen carried out at least 29 air strikes on Sanaa province, hours after Houthi rebels fired a ballistic missile towards the Saudi capital Riyadh. Residents told Al Jazeera that bombs "rained down" on several neighbourhoods of the capital on Sunday, targeting a stage in al-Sabeen square used by Houthi rebels for military parades, the nearby presidential palace, the national security headquarters and the interior ministry. The Houthi-run Saba news agency reported more than 15 air strikes in Sanaa and a further 14 in the districts of Sinhan and Bani Bahloul. Fatik al-Rodaini, an activist based in the capital, told Al Jazeera some of the raids targeted Sanaa's old city, a UNESCO world heritage site. "This is the worst day I've experienced since the start of the war," Rodaini said.