2 Indians killed in fires triggered by suspected Houthi drone attack in Abu Dhabi
Two Indian nationals were among three people killed in explosions and fires that followed a suspected drone attack by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Abu Dhabi Police were cited by state-run Emirates News Agency WAM as saying that two Indians and a Pakistani national were killed and six more injured in a fire that triggered an explosion in three petroleum transport tankers near ADNOC’s storage tanks at the Industrial City of Abu Dhabi.
Another fire broke out in a new construction area of Abu Dhabi international airport. Police said both fires had been brought under control by afternoon.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that the cause of the fires are small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones that fell in the two areas” WAM reported without giving details.
The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi said UAE authorities had informed the Indian side of the death of two Indian nationals.
“UAE authorities have informed that the explosion at Mussafah, near ADNOC’s storage tanks, has led to 3 casualties, which includes 2 Indian nationals. The Mission @IndembAbuDhabi is in close touch with concerned UAE authorities for further details,” the embassy said in a tweet.
Houthi military spokesman Yahia Sarei said the group had launched an attack deep inside the UAE. He didn’t provide details and said a statement would be released.
The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) storage facility, where the three tankers caught fire, is some 1,800 km northeast of Saada, the Houthi stronghold in Yemen.
The attack in Abu Dhabi comes about a fortnight after Houthi rebels seized the UAE-flagged vessel Rwabee with 11 crew members, including seven Indian nationals, in the Red Sea. India and the UAE have demanded the immediate release of the crew members on January 11.
Yemen has witnessed intense fighting since Houthi rebels seized the capital Sanaa in 2014. The UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in support of the government in 2015.
The coalition has carried out attacks against the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. Though the UAE has decreased the number of troops it has on the ground, it continues to support militias fighting the Houthis and cooperates with the US in counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen.
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