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Three people have been killed and six wounded in Abu Dhabi following suspected drone attacks carried out by Iran-backed Houthi rebels. 

A fire broke out at an extension of Abu Dhabi’s main international airport and three fuel tanker trucks exploded in the Musaffah area near the storage facilities of ADNOC, Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil company, on Monday.

One Pakistani national and two Indian nationals were killed after the fuel trucks exploded, UAE state news agency WAM reported, citing the police.

The six people who were wounded in the attack are suffering mild and medium injuries, officials added.   

UAE police said preliminary investigations indicated the detection of small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell in the two areas and may have caused the explosion and fire. 

Video footage from Abu Dhabi shows a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks.

Video footage from Abu Dhabi shows a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks

Video footage from Abu Dhabi shows a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks

Video footage from Abu Dhabi shows a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks

Video footage from Abu Dhabi shows a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks

Video footage from Abu Dhabi shows a black plume of smoke rising up into the sky from the area of one of the reported drone attacks

Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said a fire broke out at an extension of Abu Dhabi's main international airport (file image), with officials describing the blaze as 'minor'

Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said a fire broke out at an extension of Abu Dhabi's main international airport (file image), with officials describing the blaze as 'minor'

Police in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) said a fire broke out at an extension of Abu Dhabi’s main international airport (file image), with officials describing the blaze as ‘minor’

A full investigation has been launched, the police said, without identifying the wounded. 

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, backed by Iran, claimed on Monday they had launched the attack on the UAE, without elaborating. 

Military spokesman Yahia Sarei of Yemen’s Houthi movement, which is battling a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and including the UAE, said the group launched a military operation ‘deep in the UAE’ and would announce details in coming hours. 

The Iranian-backed Houthis have claimed several attacks that Emirati officials later denied took place. 

UAE authorities and ADNOC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment. The coalition’s spokesman did not immediately respond. 

Houthi fighters ride vehicles carrying the coffins of slain comrades who were killed in recent fighting against Saudi-backed government forces in Yemen on January 10

Houthi fighters ride vehicles carrying the coffins of slain comrades who were killed in recent fighting against Saudi-backed government forces in Yemen on January 10

Houthi fighters ride vehicles carrying the coffins of slain comrades who were killed in recent fighting against Saudi-backed government forces in Yemen on January 10

Pro-coalition forces backed by the UAE have recently joined fighting against the Houthis in Yemen’s energy-producing regions of Shabwa and Marib.

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.

The Houthis have repeatedly launched cross-border missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia and have in the past threatened to attack the UAE.   

The Houthis, who ousted the internationally recognised government from the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, prompting the coalition to intervene, have said that their growing military capabilities would allow the group to target the UAE.

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.

In December 2017, the Houthis said they fired a cruise missile towards a nuclear power plant in Abu Dhabi, which Emirati authorities denied. 

The UAE has been at war in Yemen since early 2015.    

The ongoing conflict in Yemen, now in its seventh year, pushed the small nation into a humanitarian crisis that has cost tens of thousands of lives and forced millions of people onto the brink of starvation. 

The coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) intervened in 2015 after Iran-backed Shi’ite Muslim Houthi forces ousted the internationally recognized government from the capital city of Sana’a. 

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was in power for more than two decades, saw his dictatorial regime toppled in 2012 during the Arab Spring protests. 

He then sided with the Houthi rebels who ousted the country’s democratic government before being killed by the same insurgents who accused him of being a traitor.  

Source: Daily Mail

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