Saudi Arabia: Intercepted Houthi drone shrapnel injures 12 including an Indian

Riyadh: The Arab coalition in Yemen, led by Saudi Arabia, on Thursday announced that at least twelve people have been injured including an Indian resident by shrapnel from a drone intercepted by air defences at Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport.

Authorities destroyed the drone fired at the international airport in the southern city of Abha, but shrapnel caused some injuries, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

“As a result of the interception process, some shrapnel of the drone was scattered after its interception inside the internal perimeter of the airport,” coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki al-Maliki told SPA.

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The coalition later warned people in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa to avoid civilian locations used for military purposes during the next 72 hours while they strike drone launch sites.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Sarea said the group hit a military target at Abha airport with a Qasef two drone.

Air traffic operations returned to normal after standard safety procedures were carried out, the coalition said.

The group has also hit the United Arab Emirates with drones and missiles in recent weeks, prompting the United States to deploy a squadron of fighter jets and reposition a warship to help deter attacks.

Yemen has been mired in civil war since September 2014 when the Houthi militia forced the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi out of the capital Sanaa.

Since March 2015, the Arab coalition has been carrying out military operations in support of government forces in Yemen, to confront the Iranian-backed Houthis, who control several governorates, including the capital, Sanaa.

Several regions in Saudi Arabia are constantly being attacked by ballistic missiles and booby-trapped drones, which are launched from Yemen towards their airports and oil facilities.

The Iran-backed Houthi militia launched in February 2021, a major offensive toward Marib in an attempt to seize control of the province, the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-backed Yemeni government.

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