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Drone attack in Abu Dhabi claimed by Yemen's rebels kills 3

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By AP & Euronews
In a satellite photo by Planet Labs PBC, Abu Dhabi International Airport is seen Dec. 8, 2021.
In a satellite photo by Planet Labs PBC, Abu Dhabi International Airport is seen Dec. 8, 2021.   -   Copyright  Planet Labs PBC via AP

A drone attack in Abu Dhabi claimed by Yemen's Houthi rebels killed three people and sparked a fire at the city's international airport.

Two Indian nationals and one Pakistani died. Six people were wounded at an industrial area where Abu Dhabi's state-owned energy company runs a pipeline network and an oil tanker storage facility.

Three transport tankers caught fire at the oil facility, while another fire was sparked at an extension of Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels claimed they were behind an attack targeting “sensitive Emirati facilities."

Senior Emirati diplomat Anwar Gargash said: “The tampering of the region's security by terrorist militias is too weak to affect the stability and safety in which we live." 

Although the UAE has largely withdrawn its own forces from Yemen, it is still actively engaged in the conflict and supports Yemeni militias fighting the Houthis.

The incident comes as the Houthis face pressure and are suffering heavy losses. Yemeni government forces, allied and backed by the UAE, have pushed back the rebels in key provinces.

International leaders condemn the attack

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the assault was “prohibited by international law” and urged all sides “to prevent any escalation amid heightened tensions in the region,” said spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

UK foreign secretary Liz Truss tweeted: "I condemn in the strongest terms the Houthi-claimed terrorist attacks on the United Arab Emirates."

French foreign affairs minister Jean-Yves Le Drian condemned the attacks stating they "threaten the security of the United Arab Emirates and the stability of the region."

Though there have been civilian deaths in Saudi Arabia from Houthi attacks, there had been no deaths previously reported in the UAE.

The overwhelming number of civilian deaths in the conflict have been in Yemen. The war has killed 130,000 people in Yemen -- both civilians and fighters -- and has exacerbated hunger and famine across the impoverished country.