Saudi forces shoot down Houthi ballistic missile

A Patriot missile is deployed at a Saudi Air Defense Forces base in Khamis Mushayt, in the southern region of Asir. (SPA file photo)
Updated 16 January 2018
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Saudi forces shoot down Houthi ballistic missile

JEDDAH: Saudi Air Defense Forces shot down a ballistic missile fired by Houthi militias from Yemen toward Saudi Arabia Friday night, Arab Coalition command said.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), the coalition said the missile was intercepted and destroyed above an unpopulated area in a place called Al-Rin at about 8:45 p.m.
“Coalition Air Forces retaliated immediately, hitting the sites of the missile's launching pads,” said the SPA report.
Reuters earlier quoted a Yemeni news agency as saying the Iran-backed Houthis had fired a Burkan-1 missile toward Riyadh, just ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
The Arab Coalition statement did not say if it was the same missile that was shot down.
Houthis have repeatedly fired missiles and rockets toward Saudi Arabia since the coalition threw its support to the UN-recognized government of Yemen President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi amid attempts by Houthis and loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to seize control of the country.
Many of the rockets and missiles have been intercepted by Saudi Patriot missiles deployed along the Kingdom’s southern borders with Yemen. Some have hit civilian homes, causing deaths and destruction.


Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

Updated 17 July 2019
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Hajj pilgrims praise Saudi support at Dhaka airport

  • Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks
  • At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database

DHAKA: Pre-immigration facilities provided by Saudi Arabia for Hajj pilgrims in Bangladesh have helped reduce waiting times by several hours after their arrival at airports in the Kingdom, several of them said on Wednesday.
The program is part of Saudi Arabia’s Road to Makkah initiative, whereby pilgrims can complete immigration at airports in their home country instead of doing it on arrival in the Kingdom.
From this year, Bangladeshi pilgrims are enjoying pre-immigration facilities at Dhaka airport.
“Among the 127,000 Bangladeshi pilgrims, this year 60,500 of them will have the opportunity to complete the immigration formalities at Dhaka airport,” Bangladeshi Religious Affairs Secretary Anisur Rahman told Arab News.
“From next year, all Bangladeshi pilgrims will enjoy this pre-immigration system at Dhaka airport.”
Seventy immigration officials from Saudi Arabia are currently in Dhaka to accomplish pilgrims’ immigration tasks. Three Saudi organizations are working at Dhaka airport to accomplish these tasks.
At the airport, Saudi authorities have established 15 booths to serve pilgrims, who have to record 10-finger impressions in the Kingdom’s immigration database.
In addition, at the immigration counter officials take photographs of the pilgrims, Rahman said.
“The pre-immigration system was supposed to be launched from the first Hajj flight on July 4, but due to technical issues we couldn’t do that on the first day. However, things are now running very smoothly,” he added.
Abdul Kayum Bepari, a Bangladeshi pilgrim who completed his Saudi immigration formalities at Dhaka airport, told Arab News: “It’s an amazing experience. All immigration formalities were completed within a minute. When I performed Hajj in 2011, it took more than four hours for me to complete the immigration formalities at the Saudi airport.”
Bangladeshi pilgrim Sadek Ali told Arab News: “Everything is very disciplined. This pre-immigration system has truly eased the hassle of thousands of Bangladeshi pilgrims.”
Pilgrim Bulbuli Begum told Arab News: “My Saudi immigration formalities took only a few seconds to be completed.”
Pre-immigration support for Bangladeshi pilgrims will continue until the last Hajj flight, which is scheduled on Aug. 5.
“We’re trying to ensure maximum support and comfort to the pilgrims,” said a Saudi immigration official at Dhaka airport.
“They don’t even need to worry about luggage. Once the pilgrims land at a Saudi airport, they’ll immediately board hotel-bound buses and will receive their luggage at the hotel.”