Pakistan condemns Houthi drone strike on Saudi city Abha

March 10, 2019

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An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFP TV shows the moment a drone exploded above Yemen's al-Anad airbase on January 10, 2019. — AFP/File
An image grab taken from a video obtained by AFP TV shows the moment a drone exploded above Yemen's al-Anad airbase on January 10, 2019. — AFP/File

Islamabad on Sunday condemned a Houthi drone strike on Saudi city Abha and commended the Kingdom's armed forces for timely intercepting and destroying the drone.

According to Arab News, the Royal Air Defense Force of Saudi Arabia on Friday shot down a Houthi drone that was flying toward Saudi Arabia. Col Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesperson of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, was quoted as saying that the drone was targeting civilians in a residential area of Abha.

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The spokesperson for the Saudi Directorate of Civil Defense in Asir Region, Colonel Mohammed Al-Assami, said the fall of the fragments of the drone injured four Saudi nationals, including a woman, and an Indian national. Six vehicles and a number of houses were damaged in the attack, it was reported.

The Foreign Office in a statement on Sunday said: "Pakistan has noted with serious concern the drone attack by Houthis on the Saudi city of Abha. We commend the government of Saudi Arabia, especially the defence forces, for timely intercepting and destroying the drone before it could cause any serious damage."

The FO statement also expressed concerns over the news of injuries to Saudis and other expatriates, as well as damage to properties, as a result of falling debris of the drone.

"The government of Pakistan reiterates its full support and solidarity with the leadership, the government and people of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its territorial integrity and Harmain Shareefaen," it read, adding that such attacks, targeting unarmed civilian population, were a clear violation of the international law and pose a serious challenge to regional peace and security.

"We, condemn them [the strikes] in the strongest terms and stand in solidarity with the Saudi government in fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations."

For nearly four years, Yemen's Houthi rebels have been locked in a war with a regional pro-government alliance led by Riyadh. The conflict has triggered what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with millions of people at risk of starvation.