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Saudi-led coalition says 10 civilians wounded in Houthi drone attack on Jizan airport

Riyadh has blamed the Yemeni Houthi movement for a number of attacks on airports across the country over the past month
Earlier this week, the Saudi-led coalition said it intercepted an explosives-laden drone targeting the Abha airport.
Earlier this week, the Saudi-led coalition said it intercepted an explosives-laden drone targeting Abha airport (AFP/File photo)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Saturday that a Houthi explosives-laden drone was used to target civilians at King Abdullah airport in Saudi Arabia's southern city of Jizan, the state news agency (SPA) reported.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting told the Saudi news agency SPA that travellers and airport employees were among those injured in Friday's attack, updating an earlier toll of five.

The "Iran-backed Houthi militia" was behind the attack "using a bomb-laden drone, which resulted in [10] injuries among civilian travellers and airport staff," said coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki. 

Riyadh has blamed the Houthis for a number of attacks on airports across the country over the past month, including a drone attack in September that wounded eight people at Abha airport.

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On Wednesday, the coalition said it intercepted an explosives-laden drone also targeting Abha airport, some 160km northwest of the border with Yemen.

The recent cross-border attacks over the past several weeks also come after the United States reportedly removed its most advanced missile defence systems from Saudi Arabia.

US President Joe Biden announced in February an end to Washington's offensive support for the Saudi-led military campaign fighting the Houthis, but added that it would continue to help Riyadh defend its territorial integrity.

Biden also announced at the start of his presidency that his administration was reviewing arms sales to Riyadh, and that the White House would deal directly with the 85-year-old King Salman, not the country's de-facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The Saudi-led coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015 in support of the western-backed government fighting the Houthis.

It has since carried out more than 20,000 air strikes in an effort to roll back the rebels, with one-third striking non-military sites, including schools, factories and hospitals, according to the Yemen Data Project.