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Attack on Saudi airport kills one, wounds 21: coalition

RIYADH: An attack on a civilian airport in southern Saudi Arabia killed a Syrian national and wounded 21 other civilians Sunday, a Riyadh-led coalition said, in a new escalation following a series of strikes on the site.

The attack on Abha airport, which the coalition said left a fast food outlet at the site littered with shattered glass and damaged 18 vehicles.

The escalation of attacks by Yemen’s Houthi militants on Saudi cities threatens a hard-won UN-sponsored ceasefire deal for the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, war-ravaged Yemen’s main conduit for humanitarian aid.

“A terrorist attack by the Huthi militia on Abha airport… killed a Syrian resident and wounded 21 civilians,” the coalition said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

The wounded — from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, India and Bangladesh — also included three women and two children who had been taken to hospital for treatment, the coalition said.

It did not provide details on how the airport was attacked, but Houthi militants have repeatedly struck the civilian facility this month with drones and missiles.

Earlier on Sunday, the rebels’ Al-Masirah TV said they had targeted Abha and Jizan airports in the south of the kingdom with drones.

The coalition did not confirm the attack on Jizan airport.

Abha airport authorities said on Twitter that air traffic had resumed and operatons were running normally, without saying how long they were disrupted.

On June 12, a rebel missile attack on Abha airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing promises of “stern action” from the coalition.

Human Rights Watch denounced the strike as an apparent “war crime”, urging the Houthis to immediately stop all attacks on civilian infrastructure in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly accused Iran of supplying sophisticated weapons to Huthi rebels, a charge Tehran denies.

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