Eight wounded in Houthi drone strikes on Saudi Abha airport


Abha (Reuters) – At least eight people were wounded on Monday in Houthi drone strikes on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport that also damaged a civilian airplane, Saudi officials said.

Earlier, the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi group in Yemen said it intercepted a Houthi drone that was targeting Abha International Airport.

Shrapnel was scattered in the vicinity of the airport, the coalition said.

State TV Ekhbaria said a second armed drone was intercepted, but debris wounded eight people and damaged a civilian airplane inside the airport.

General manager of the airport Ahmed al-Qahtani said one person was in a critical condition and all the wounded were treated in the local hospital.

“Tha airport hasn’t cancelled any flight. We suspended the flights for security measures for several minutes or about half an hour,” Qahatani said.

Reporters at the scene were shown shattered glass, damage in some ceilings of the terminal and holes in an Airbus A320 of the state-owned Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) parked on the tarmac.

Travellers were lined up to check in for flights to the capital Riyadh and other Saudi cities.

The Houthis did not claim responsibility for the attack, but the Iran-aligned group regularly fires drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia.

The group’s media reported more than 20 air strikes by the coalition’s warplanes on several Houthi-held Yemeni provinces after the airport attack. The coalition said it targeted drones and missile launchers.

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing forces of the ousted government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi fighting the Houthis.

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