Indian among 12 injured by falling debris as Saudi Arabia Army hit Houthi rebels' drone

PTIUpdated: Friday, February 11, 2022, 09:48 AM IST
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Saudi Airstrikes at Houthi rebels in Yemen | Photo: DW

Riyadh: An Indian national was among 12 civilians who were injured on Thursday by falling debris when Saudi Arabia's Army destroyed a drone fired by Yemen's rebels targeting an international airport, state media reported.

The Saudi-led Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen termed it "an act of war", the state-run SPA news agency reported.

The coalition's spokesman General Turki Al-Malki said: "Saudi Air Defences thwarted an attempt to deliberately and systematically target travelling civilians and staff at Abha International Airport by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia using a bomb-laden drone." As a result of the interception, some debris of the bomb-laden drone scattered around the premises of the airport, and caused minor injuries to 12 civilians, including two Saudi citizens, he said in a statement.

One Indian, four Bangladeshi, three Nepali, one Filipino and one Sri Lankan expat have also been injured, according to the report.

Identities of those injured were not released by authorities.

"This hostile, atrocious attempt to target Abha International Airport and its multinational travelling civilians today in a deliberate, systematic manner is an act of war.

"These acts confirm the hostile nature of the militia, and its transgressions against the customary International Humanitarian Law, under which Abha International Airport is considered a Civilian Object protected by the IHL (International humanitarian law)," the coalition said in the statement.

The Joint Forces Command in the face of these hostile acts and immoral transgressions by the terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia will continue to implement all necessary operational procedures in response to such threats and neutralise the sources of these threats in a manner that protects civilians and civilian objects in accordance to the customary International Humanitarian Law, it added.

The incident involving an Indian civilian took place weeks after Yemen's Houthi rebels targeted a fuel depot in Abu Dhabi and the city's main airport, heightening tensions in the oil-exporting region.

They targeted the Musaffah ICAD 3 area and the new construction area at Abu Dhabi International Airport, both of which are civilian infrastructure in the morning of January 17.

The attacks, which led to the explosion of three petroleum tankers, killed two Indians and one Pakistani national and injured six other civilians.

The UN Security Council had strongly condemned the "heinous" terror attacks in Abu Dhabi in which two Indians and a Pakistani civilian were killed and expressed condolences to the families of the victims.

The Houthi rebels have taken responsibility for several drone attacks on Saudi Arabian oil facilities in the past.

The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen fighting the Houthis.

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