A suspected Houthi drone attack near Abu Dhabi airport killed at least three people

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - 2020/01/20: Abu Dhabi sky line and city scene shots from white sand beach on marina island. (Photo by Diego Puletto/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

“Abu Dhabi police confirmed that a fire broke out this morning, which led to the explosion of three petroleum tankers in ICAD 3, Mussafah, near ADNOC’s storage tanks,” a statement said on WAM. “A minor fire also broke out in the new construction area of Abu Dhabi International Airport.”

A CNN journalist heard two explosions with a black plume of smoke rising from the direction of the airport. CNN has also seen a fighter jet — likely belonging to the UAE — circling the area.

According to CNN, a suspected Houthi drone attack near Abu Dhabi airport killed at least three people and sparked multiple explosions in the United Arab Emirates’ capital on Monday.

An Abu Dhabi police statement said three tanker trucks carrying fuel exploded in the emirate’s Mussafah area after catching fire, with preliminary investigations pointing to a drone attack.

One Pakistani and two Indians were killed, and six other people were injured, the UAE’s official news agency WAM said.

Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels said they would soon make a statement about “a special military operation that was carried out in the heart of the UAE,” the Houthi-owned Al Masirah TV channel said Monday.

Deadly attacks are extremely rare in the UAE, long considered an island of stability in a turbulent region. In recent years, Houthi rebels claimed to have launched multiple attacks on the country, but Emirati authorities have denied the allegations. Houthi rebels frequently target neighboring Saudi Arabia, with the kingdom intercepting the vast majority of those missiles.

The UAE has been part of a Saudi-led military campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015. On Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition said they detected multiple explosive-laden drones launched from the airport in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which is controlled by Houthis.

“Operations like this will continue so long as the offensive and blockade continue and it will encompass strategic targets,” tweeted Ali al-Qhoom, a member of the Houthi’s political bureau. “These operations will happen within the context of a legitimate response to the crimes and attacks of the UAE in Yemen.”

CNN has requested comment from the government of the UAE.

Saudi Arabia, which leads the coalition fighting Houthi rebels, condemned the attack in a statement.

“We condemn in the strongest of words the cowardly terror attack that targeted Abu Dhabi International Airport in the UAE,” the kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement. “The kingdom also points out that this terror attack which the Houthi militia is behind reconfirms the danger that this terror group poses and its threat to the security, peace and stability in the region and the world.”


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