Three people, including two Indians, were killed in a drone attack in Abu Dhabi, which triggered a blast on three oil tankers and a separate fire at an extension of the emirate’s main airport on Monday, police said. The deceased also includes a Pakistani national. Speaking to News18, Indian Envoy to UAE Sunjay Sudhir confirmed the death of two Indians in the drone blast, and their identities are being ascertained.
The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi tweeted that they’re in touch with the UAE authorities for further details.
UAE authorities have informed that the explosion at Mussafah, near ADNOC’s storage tanks, has led to 3 casualties, which includes 2 Indian nationals. The Mission @IndembAbuDhabi is in close touch with concerned UAE authorities for further details.
— India in UAE (@IndembAbuDhabi) January 17, 2022
Abu Dhabi police said the airport fire was a minor one and it took place at an extension of Abu Dhabi’s main international airport that is still under construction. They also said that a separate explosion on three petroleum tankers was reported near a storage facility for ADNOC, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil company.
Based on the preliminary prove, police said that small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, were detected and these were dropped in the two areas sparking the explosion and fire.
Houthi rebels claim responsibility
Yemen’s Houthi rebels, meanwhile, claimed to have launched the attack in the United Arab Emirates. Abu Dhabi is the UAE’s seat of government and steers the country’s foreign policy. The UAE has been at war in Yemen since early 2015 and was a key member of the Saudi-led coalition that launched attacks against the Iranian-backed Houthis after the group overran the capital of Yemen and ousted the internationally-backed government there.
Houthi military spokesman Yahia Sarei said the group launched an attack deep in the UAE. He did not provide further details, saying a statement would be released soon.
The UAE had largely scaled down its military presence in Yemen in 2019 but continues to hold sway through Yemeni forces it armed and trained. Pro-coalition forces backed by the UAE recently joined fighting against the Houthis in Yemen’s energy-producing Shabwa and Marib.
In July 2018, the UAE denied reports that the Houthis attacked Abu Dhabi airport with a drone. A month later, Dubai International Airport said it was operating as normal after Houthi-run media said the group launched a drone attack there.
(With inputs from AP and Reuters)