Coalition air defenses intercept Houthi drone aimed at KSA’s Asir region

In this Dec. 14, 2017 file photo, a kamikaze drone fired by Houthi militants toward Saudi Arabia is shown as an exhibit at the United Nations. The Iran-backed Houthis have continued to fired missiles and armed drones toward Saudi Arabia, the latest of which was on April 7, 2019. (AFP file photo)
Updated 08 April 2019
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Coalition air defenses intercept Houthi drone aimed at KSA’s Asir region

JEDDAH: Saudi-led Coalition air defense forces intercepted a Houthi drone aimed toward Saudi Arabia's southern region of Asir, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said on Monday.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki, Arab Coalition spokesman, said that at 10:50 p.m. local time on Sunday, the Saudi Royal Air Defense System spotted the drone moving in the direction of a populated area in the Asir region. 

The drone was shot down before reaching its target and so far nobody had been reported injured by falling debris from the unmanned aerial vehicle, he said.

Al-Maliki lamented that the Iran-backed terrorist militia has continued to target civilians with drone attacks as well as booby-trapped boats in violation of the Stockholm Agreement signed by the militia and the Yemeni government and its Coalition backers.

He said that "these acts of terrorism" were clearly meant to provoke the coalition forces into carrying out military action in the province of Hodeidah.

He stressed that the Coalition was all for the efforts of the UN special envoy in Yemen, but it won't allow the Houthis' targeting of civilian targets and its use of terrorist methods to go unpunished.

"The Joint Forces Command would take all deterrent measures in accordance with international humanitarian law and its customary rules," he said.

Sunday's drone attack was the second for this month. On the night of April 2, two Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in Khamis Mushayt, a mountain city in Asir, were intercepted and destroyed. Five people were reported injured by falling debris. Four vehicles and a number of houses were damaged.

 


Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

Updated 23 April 2019
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Two Saudis among 31 foreigners killed in Easter Day attacks in Sri Lanka

  • Mohamed Jafar and Hany Osman, cabin crew with Saudi Arabian Airlines, were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels targeted
  • Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi says officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests

COLOMBO: Two Saudis were among 31 foreigners killed in a string of Easter Sunday suicide bombings in Sri Lanka, the Sri Lankan Foreign Ministry said on Monday, a day after the devastating attacks on hotels and churches killed at least 290 people and wounded nearly 500.

The extent of the carnage began to emerge as information from government officials, relatives and media reports offered the first details of those who had died. Citizens from at least eight countries, including the United States, were killed, officials said.

Among them were Saudis Mohammed Jafar and Hany Osman. They worked as cabin crew on Saudi Arabian Airlines, and were in transit and staying at one of the three hotels that were hit.

Saudi Ambassador Abdulnasser Al-Harthi said that officials are awaiting the results of DNA tests on the two Saudi victims, and only after these are received will their names be confirmed.

Cabinet spokesman Rajitha Senaratne said the Sri Lankan government believes the vast scale of the attacks, which clearly targeted the minority Christian community and outsiders, suggested the involvement of an international terrorism network.

“We don’t think a small organization can do all that,” he said. “We are now investigating international support for them and their other links — how they produced the suicide bombers and bombs like this.”

The attacks mostly took place during church services or when hotel guests were sitting down to breakfast. In addition to the two Saudis, officials said the foreign victims included one person from Bangladesh, two from China, eight from India, one from France, one from Japan, one from The Netherlands, one from Portugal, one from Spain, two from Turkey, six from the UK, two people with US and UK dual nationalities, and two with Australian and Sri Lankan dual nationalities.

Three of Danish billionaire Anders Holch Povlsen’s four children were among the foreigners who were killed, a spokesman for the family confirmed. Povlsen is the wealthiest man in Denmark, the largest landowner in Scotland and owns the largest share of British online fashion and cosmetics retailer Asos.

Two Turkish engineers working on a project in Sri Lanka also died in the attacks, the English-language Daily Sabah newspaper reported. Turkey’s foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu gave their names as Serhan Selcuk Narici and Yigit Ali Cavus.

Fourteen foreign nationals remain unaccounted for, the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said, adding that they might be among unidentified victims at the Colombo Judicial Medical Officer’s morgue.

Seventeen foreigners injured in the attacks were still being treated at the Colombo National Hospital and a private hospital in the city, while others had been discharged after treatment.