Explosions from a missile attack were heard over the circuit on February 27 as the FIA Formula E championship season kicked off in the city of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It is unclear if the event was the target of the missiles which were intercepted by Saudi authorities.

Yemen's Houthi rebels were blamed for the attack which was thwarted by a Saudi-led military coalition. The night skies lit up during the Formula E weekend, which was attended by controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Video of Patriot Missile interception over #Riyadh, #KSA in the last 15 minutes. Unknown target at the moment. pic.twitter.com/Fga2oSZWrI

— Aurora Intel (@AuroraIntel) February 27, 2021

Apart from the missile that headed towards Riyadh, three booby-trapped drones headed towards Jizan province were also shot out of the sky according to Brigadier General Turki al-Malki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition. In a statement shared by Al Jazeera, the Brigadier General also confirmed that a fourth drone was also intercepted as it was heading to the southwestern city of Khamis Mushait.

Thankfully, the Formula E event was not disrupted and all the participants remained safe. The event went on as planned, and no casualties related to the attacks were reported. However, a home did sustain damages as debris fell out of the sky.

Your top three from Round 2 of the #DiriyahEPrix

? @sambirdofficial
? @RFrijns @afelixdacosta moves into third place after @DSTECHEETAH teammate @JeanEricVergne was given a post-race penalty for not activating his second ATTACK MODE pic.twitter.com/6msMbzDNia

— ABB FIA Formula E World Championship (@FIAFormulaE) February 27, 2021

According to the same report, the Iranian-aligned Houthis claimed the attacks and confirmed that they "deployed a ballistic missile and nine drones at 'sensitive targets' in Riyadh and six drones at military sites in Abha and Khamis Mushait."

Luckily, the Saudi Arabian military was prepared for the attack, and their patriot missiles were able to intercept the missile and drones before they reached their intended targets. Civilians were able to capture footage of the explosions, and many could be heard shrieking in fear as the sky was piered by the blows.

Al-Malki believes that the Houthis were deliberately targeting civilians.

The incidents also led to the disruption of air travel, with several flights bound for Riyadh ending up getting diverted.

Jaguar team driver Sam Bird took the victory in the second race on Saturday. The event was completed without any issues save for an on-track accident that sent British driver Alex Lynn to the hospital. Mahindra racing has confirmed that his injuries are not serious and he can return for the next race in Rome on April 10.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman
US intelligence concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 Photo: Saudi Royal Palace / Bandar AL-JALOUD