Drone shrapnel wounds 12 at Abha airport

Drone shrapnel injured at least 12 people at Saudi Arabia‘s Abha airport on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen‘s Houthi movement said.

The coalition said the wounded included travellers and workers in comments carried by Saudi news channel Ekhbariya.

The coalition said that air traffic operations returned to normal after standard safety procedures were carried out.

The coalition has been fighting the Houthis since early 2015 after the group ousted Yemen’s internationally recognised government from power in the capital Sanaa.

With drones and missiles, the Houthis often target Abha airport and the neighbouring city Khamis Mushait, located close to the Yemeni border in Saudi Arabia’s south. 

The coalition regularly carries out airstrikes on what it says are Houthi military targets in Yemen, in a campaign criticised by rights groups for causing thousands of civilian casualties.

The UAE, a coalition member, twice in January said its forces destroyed a Houthi ballistic missile launch area in Yemen after the Houthis claimed unprecedented drone and missile attacks on the emirates.

Those attacks led to a significant increase in coalition attacks on Sanaa and other areas in Yemen, including on a detention centre in Saada province, a northern stronghold of the Houthis, that killed around 90 people and wounded more than 200, according to the Houthi administration’s health minister.

Earlier this week, the coalition fighting in Yemen invited the Red Cross and the United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator to discuss the attack on the detention centre believed to be holding 1,300 pre-trial detainees and 700 migrants when three airstrikes hit it in quick succession on 21 January.

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