RIYADH: Ten people were wounded in a drone attack on a civilian airport in Saudi Arabia that was blamed on Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, official media said on Saturday.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting alongside the Yemeni government, quoted by the Saudi news agency SPA, said travellers and airport employees were among those injured in Friday’s attack, updating an earlier toll of five.

The “Iran-backed Houthi militia” was behind the attack “using a bomb-laden drone, which resulted in (10) injuries among civilian travellers and airport staff”, coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki was quoted as saying.

Pakistan condemns drone attack blamed on Houthis

SPA said the attack caused “minor material damage and some broken glass fronts” at King Abdullah Airport in Jazan, about 60km from the Yemeni border.

The Houthis have been stepping up attacks on Saudi Arabia, which has escalated air strikes on rebel forces closing in on Marib, the last government-held stronghold in northern Yemen.

The latest attack comes after four workers were wounded on Wednesday when the coalition intercepted an explosives-laden drone targeting the kingdom’s Abha airport, state media said.

The coalition said the workers sustained minor injuries from the drone’s debris, SPA reported.

On Aug 31, a drone hit the same airport, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian aircraft.

Nestled in the kingdom’s southwestern mountains, Abha is a popular destination for Saudi tourists.

Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemen war on behalf of the internationally recognised government in 2015.

The Iran-backed insurgents have repeatedly targeted the kingdom in cross-border attacks, using drones and missiles.

On Friday, the US envoy on Yemen, Tim Lenderking, started a fresh peace bid that includes a stop in Saudi Arabia, which succeeded in scuttling a UN-backed probe into abuses in the conflict.

Attack condemned Pakistan condemned the attack on a civilian airport in the kingdom.

In a statement, spokesperson for the Foreign Office said: “Pakistan reaffirms its full support and solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its security and territorial integrity.”

Pakistan wanted an immediate cessation of such attacks and wished speedy recovery to those injured in the incident, said the spokesperson.

“Such attacks not only violate international law but also threaten peace and security of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the region,” the FO statement added.

Published in Dawn, October 10th, 2021

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