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10 hurt in drone attack on Saudi airport blamed on Yemen Houthis

By AFP - Oct 09,2021 - Last updated at Oct 09,2021

RIYADH — Ten people were wounded in a drone attack on a civilian airport in the Saudi city of Jeddah that was blamed on Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi rebels, official media said on Saturday.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting alongside the Yemeni government, quoted by the Saudi news agency SPA, said 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", coalition spokesman Turki Al Malki was quoted as saying.

SPA said the attack caused "minor material damage and some broken glass fronts" at King Abdullah Airport in Jazan, about 60 kilometres from the Yemeni border.

The Shiite Houthis have been stepping up attacks on Saudi Arabia, which has escalated air strikes on rebel forces closing in on Marib, the last government-held stronghold in northern Yemen.

The latest attack comes after four workers were wounded on Wednesday when the coalition intercepted an explosives-laden drone targeting the kingdom's Abha airport, state media said.

The coalition said the workers sustained minor injuries from the drone's debris, SPA reported.

On August 31, a drone hit the same airport, wounding eight people and damaging a civilian aircraft.

Nestled in the kingdom's south-western mountains, Abha is a popular destination for Saudi tourists.

Saudi Arabia intervened in the Yemen war on behalf of the internationally recognised government in 2015.

The Iran-backed insurgents have repeatedly targeted the kingdom in cross-border attacks, using drones and missiles.

On Friday, the US envoy on Yemen, Tim Lenderking, started a fresh peace bid that includes a stop in Saudi Arabia, which succeeded in scuttling a UN-backed probe into abuses in the conflict.

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