Twelve people were injured by falling debris on Thursday when the Saudi military blew up a Yemeni rebel drone targeting an airport close to the border, officials said.
Fragments fell to the ground after the interception of the drone over Abha International Airport, which has previously been targeted in similar assaults by the Houthi rebels.
The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack in a tweet, saying they had targeted an airport “used for military action against Yemen” and warning citizens to “stay away” from such sites. The Iran-backed insurgents, fighting a Saudi-led coalition since 2015, have frequently launched drone attacks at Saudi targets including airports and oil installations. In recent months, they have also targeted fellow coalition member, the United Arab Emirates, with deadly cross-border attacks for the first time, after suffering a series of battlefield defeats at the hands of UAE-trained pro-government forces.
“Saudi defence forces destroyed a drone launched towards Abha International Airport,” the official Saudi Press Agency said in a tweet. “We will take firm operational action to respond to the threat to civilian airports and travellers,” it added.
The SPA said “12 civilians of various nationalities” were hurt when the drone was intercepted and destroyed. They included citizens of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and the Philippines.