Intercepted drone shrapnel injures 12 at Saudi Abha airport

The coalition has been fighting the Houthis since early 2015 after the group ousted Yemen's internationally recognized government from power in the capital Sanaa.

 A damaged glass window is pictured at Saudi Arabia's Abha airport, after it was attacked by a Houthi drone strike, in Abha, Saudi Arabia August 31, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED BENMANSOUR)
A damaged glass window is pictured at Saudi Arabia's Abha airport, after it was attacked by a Houthi drone strike, in Abha, Saudi Arabia August 31, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED BENMANSOUR)

Twelve people were injured at Saudi Arabia's Abha airport by shrapnel from a drone intercepted by air defenses on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group said.

Air traffic operations returned to normal after standard safety procedures were carried out, the coalition said.

The injured included travelers and workers of various nationalities, it said in two statements carried by state media.

The coalition has been fighting the Houthis since early 2015 after the group ousted Yemen's internationally recognized government from power in the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis often target Abha airport, which lies close to the Yemeni border in Saudi Arabia's south, and other parts of the country with drones and missiles. Most are intercepted but a few people have been killed and several injured.

 Workers are pictured at Abha International Airport after a drone attack by Houthi group, Abha, Saudi Arabia August 31, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED BENMANSOUR) Workers are pictured at Abha International Airport after a drone attack by Houthi group, Abha, Saudi Arabia August 31, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/MOHAMMED BENMANSOUR)

The coalition regularly carries out air strikes on what it says are Houthi military targets in Yemen.

The United Arab Emirates, a coalition member, twice in January said its forces destroyed a Houthi ballistic missile launch area in Yemen, after unprecedented drone and missile attacks on the UAE this year claimed by the Houthis.