RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) _ A salvo of Patriot missiles knocked out an incoming Iraqi Scud late Monday, raining bits of wreckage on a private vegetable farm on the outskirts of Riyadh.
It was the 16th Scud fired toward the Saudi capital in the 11 days since the war began. All have been intercepted and destroyed or damaged by the Patriot defense system in its first combat test.
Warning sirens wailed just after 9 p.m. (1 p.m. EST) and minutes later, a sonic boom reverberated across the city as the Patriots roared from their tubes and chased after the high-flying projectile at supersonic speed.
Unlike some previous Scuds whose debris fell in populated Saudi areas, killing one and injuring about 50 people, the interception occurred well away from inhabited areas.
Police traced the falling wreckage to a hothouse complex several miles from the city. The debris knocked holes in some of the glass fiber greenhouses where tomatoes and cucumbers are grown. Damage was slight and there were no injuries.
Ibrahim Ayed, manager of the farm, said no workers were present at the time.
Iraq has repeatedly fired Scud rockets at Saudi Arabia and at Israel since the start of the Persian Gulf war on Jan. 17.
Of the 25 Scud missiles Iraq has fired at Israel, including one Monday night, at least nine hit the Tel Aviv area and three struck around Haifa. The Israeli military says the attacks have killed four people and injured about 170.
Most of the 27 Scuds Iraq has fired at Saudi Arabia were aimed at the cities of Riyadh and Dhahran.