Eight injured in drone attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha airport

RIYADH: A bomb-laden drone on Tuesday targeted an airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian plane, Saudi state television reported.

The incident was the latest assault on the Kingdom amid its grinding war in neighbouring Yemen. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the second such strike on Abha airport in the last 24 hours.

The earlier attack, blamed on Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels, scattered shrapnel across the tarmac but caused no casualties. The Houthi military spokesman did not answer calls seeking comment.

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen did not elaborate on the assault or provide details about those hurt, beyond saying that its forces had “intercepted” the explosive drone.

The attack comes just days after missiles and drones smashed into a key military base in Yemen’s south, killing at least 30 Saudi-backed Yemeni troops and marking one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s years-long civil war. No one claimed responsibility for the strike, which bore the hallmarks of the Iranian-supported rebels.

Since 2015, Yemen’s Houthi rebels battling the Saudi-led military coalition have targeted international airports, along with military installations and critical oil infrastructure, within Saudi Arabia.

Those attacks, often striking near the southern cities of Abha and Jizan, have rarely caused substantial damage but over the years killed at least one person, wounded dozens and rattled global oil markets.

Within Yemen, the Saudi-led bombing campaign has drawn international criticism for killing civilians, hitting non-military targets like hospitals and wedding parties and devastating infrastructure in the Arab world’s most impoverished nation. – AP