Houthi rocket attack kills Saudi, wounds 6 expats in Najran

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Civil Defense firefighters battle a blaze on a building caused by a rocket strike in Najran on Saturday. (SPA)
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Firefighters of the Directorate for Civil Defense are seen outside a building set ablaze by a rocket strike in Najran on Saturday. (SPA)
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The remains of a truck demolished by a rocket strike is shown outside a building in Najran on Saturday. (SPA)
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Bystanders watch as Civil Defense firefighters extinguish a blaze that hit a building in Najran after a rocket attack on Saturday. (SPA)
Updated 20 August 2016

Houthi rocket attack kills Saudi, wounds 6 expats in Najran

JEDDAH: A Saudi citizen was killed and six others were wounded when a rocket fired from Yemen hit a building in the southern border region of Najran on Saturday, the Directorate of Civil Defense said.
A Civil Defense spokesman in Najran said five of the wounded were Yemenis and one was a Pakistani expat.
A barrage of rockets, believed to have been fired by Shiite Houthi militants, hit the western part of Najran city at about 12:30 p.m., setting at least two buildings on fire, Al Ekhbariya online news said.
Cross-border attacks into Saudi Arabia have increased since a Saudi-led Arab coalition this month stepped up air strikes on insurgent targets inside Yemen in an attempt to shore up the beleaguered government.
Saturday’s attack was the third this week.
On Friday, five foreign residents of Najran were wounded in a rocket strike just west of the city.
Seven civilians were killed on Tuesday when the city center was shelled, with three victims said to be expats.
Tuesday’s toll was the highest reported number of civilian casualties in Saudi Arabia for a single day since the Arab coalition intervened in Yemen in March last year against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
More than 100 civilians and soldiers have been killed in southern Saudi Arabia by retaliatory rocket strikes or skirmishes since the coalition began operations in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government.

(Additional input from Agence France Presse)


Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 03 August 2020

Riyadh roads turn green as world’s largest urban greening project branches out

  • Capital gets a facelift as Vision 2030 program works to plant 7.5 million trees
  • Most of the tree species used in the project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care

RIYADH: The Green Riyadh project, one of the world’s largest urban greening initiatives, is rapidly bearing fruit as it transforms main roads in the capital.

Major thoroughfares, including King Khalid, Makkah and King Salman roads, are getting a facelift as part of the Vision 2030 goal of improving quality of life in the city.
Dr. Fahad Al-Mana, a professor of Ornamental Plants, Gardens and Green Areas at King Saud University, told Arab News that native tree species being used for the project include Ziziphus spina-christi, Acacia gerrardii and Prosopis cineraria, commonly known as the ghaf tree.
According to Al-Mana, the trees can survive in harsh desert conditions and will grow without intensive agricultural care.
“Most of the tree species used in the planting of the Green Riyadh project are from a well-developed local environment with low agricultural service and care,” he said.
Environmental conditions in Riyadh were taken into account during the tree selection process. The species can grow to a large size in only three years.
“In some locations, they have moved large 3-year-old local trees that were taken care of in plant nurseries to new locations where they are growing successfully,” Al-Mana said.
Green Riyadh will increase the amount of greenery in the city and augment the green cover in the Saudi capital with the planting of 7.5 million trees around the city’s main features and facilities.
The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

FASTFACTS

• The project will reduce the average ambient temperature by 2 degrees Celsius and improve air quality, encouraging people to follow a healthier lifestyle by walking or cycling.

• The project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.

• Green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030

“The aim of planting trees in the streets is to provide shade and moderate the temperature, especially in summer, which contributes to the purification of air and reduces environmental pollution by protecting the city from sand storms, winds and dust. In addition, it gives an aesthetic view and the element of nature enters the city and nearby structures,” said Al-Mana.
He added that trees, especially those planted in central street islands, must have long trunks and high branches to avoid hindering the movement of pedestrians and cars. The trunk must measure at least 3 to 4 meters and the size of the trees planted must be proportional to the width of the island.
Al-Mana said green space in the city will increase from 5 percent to 9 percent by 2030.
According to the Green Riyadh website, the project will maximize the use of recycled water in irrigation works by increasing usage from 90,000 cubic meters per
day to more than 1 million cubic meters per day through the construction of a new recycled water network.
Al-Mana said the Green Riyadh project will also reduce carbon dioxide and impurity levels in the city.
“Based on experience, roads and streets without trees contain eight to 10 times the amount of dust compared with streets lined with trees on both sides,” he said.