Passenger plane on fire after ‘drone attack’ reportedly from ‘Houthi rebels’

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A passenger plane has been set on fire after being hit by a drone at an airport in Saudi Arabia.

The civilian plane burst into flames after a rebel group allegedly attacked the Abha International Airport in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

The plane is thought to have been attacked by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, claims the Saudi-led coalition.

Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have claimed responsibility for the strike.

Military spokesman Yehia Sareai said: "This targeting comes in response to the continued aerial bombardment and the brutal siege on our country."

It is unknown if anyone was injured in the attack.

State-run Al-Ekhbariya television released a statement by the coaltion: "A cowardly criminal terrorist attack launched against Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia by the Huthi militia.

"A fire that engulfed a passenger plane due to the Huthi attack on Abha Airport is under control."

The military spokesman also stated the airport is considered a military target.

Emergency services have brought the blaze under control.

Yemen’s Houthi movement regularly launches drones and missiles into Saudi Arabia, many of which Riyadh says it intercepts.

Some have previously hit Abha International Airport which is about 120 km (75 miles) from the border with Yemen.

  • Saudi Arabia shoots down ballistic missile fired towards city

“The attempt to target Abha airport is a war crime and put civilian travellers’ lives in danger,” the coalition statement said, adding that the aircraft was on the ground at the time and that the fire was brought under control.

Earlier on Wednesday, the coalition said it had intercepted and destroyed two armed drones launched by the Houthis towards civilians in Saudi Arabia.

The coalition also said on Sunday and Monday that it had intercepted Houthi drones fired towards Saudi.

The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in 2015, backing government forces fighting the Houthis. U.N. officials are trying to revive peace talks to end the war which the U.N. says has created the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.

  • Drone
  • Fire
  • Saudi Arabia

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