World stands with Saudi Arabia over ‘cowardly’ attack

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The aftermath of the attack. (AN photos by Saleh Al-Ghinam)
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The Iranian-backed Houthis targeted the Abha airport for the second time in a month. (AN photos by Saleh Al-Ghinam)
Updated 25 June 2019
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World stands with Saudi Arabia over ‘cowardly’ attack

  • Leaders denounce Houthi attack as ‘the height of inhumanity’

RIYADH: The terrorist attack by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia brought an angry international response on Monday with world leaders and global organizations denouncing what several described as a “cowardly act.”
A Syrian national was killed and 21 civilians were injured in the terror strike on Sunday at Abha airport.
Earlier this month, at least 26 people were injured when a Houthi missile fired from Yemen struck the same airport, which is used by thousands of passengers daily.
Strongly condemning the attack, Yousef bin Ahmed Al-Othaimeen, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation secretary-general, said: “The OIC condemns criminal acts carried out by Houthi terrorist militias against civilians, public facilities and holy sites, and holds those behind them fully responsible.”
Al-Othaimeen backed the Kingdom’s efforts to halt “dangerous terrorism” and called on the UN Security Council to “confront these terrorist acts targeting civilians, and threatening the security and safety of civil aviation.”
Meanwhile, Abdul Latif Al-Zayani, Gulf Cooperation Council secretary-general, described the attack as “a cowardly act of terrorism that violates international laws and endangers the lives of civilians.”
US Ambassador John Abizaid strongly condemned what he called a “cowardly attack” on Abha airport.
On the US mission’s official Twitter page, Abizaid said: “We condemn it in the strongest possible terms, and send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of those injured or killed in this outrageous attack.”
German Ambassador Jorg Ranau said: “Such a deliberate attack on a civilian target cannot be justified under any circumstances.”
The International Civil Aviation Organization also condemned the “outrageous attack targeting international civil aviation passengers,” and expressed its solidarity with Saudi Arabia.
Kenya’s Embassy in Riyadh said: “The continued attack on civilian facilities is the height of inhumanity and insensitivity.”

FASTFACT

• A Syrian national was killed and 21 civilians were injured in Sunday’s attack on Abha airport.

• At least 26 people were injured in an earlier Houthi attack on the same airport.

“These attacks must stop,” the French Foreign Ministry said in a statement, condemning the Houthi attack on Abha airport for the second time.
Bahrain’s Cabinet condemned the targeting of civilians and expressed its support for the Kingdom “in all measures taken to safeguard its security and stability.”
President of the Arab Parliament, Mishaal bin Fahm Al-Salami, said the Houthi militia’s repeated attacks on civilians amounted to crimes against humanity and a violation of international humanitarian law.
The Organization of Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross also condemned the targeting of the airport.
Jordanian Ambassador Sufian Al-Qudah said that any attack on Saudi Arabian security was also an attack on the security of Jordan and the entire region.
The UAE strongly condemned the Houthi strike, which “flies in the face of all international laws and conventions.”
The attack was “new evidence of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias’ hostile and terrorist tendencies in the region,” it said.
“The security of the UAE and of the Kingdom is indivisible. Any threat or danger to Saudi Arabia’s security is considered a threat to the UAE’s security and stability.”
Egypt condemned the strike in the strongest terms with the Foreign Ministry affirming its support for Saudi Arabia “in taking the necessary measures to safeguard the security and stability of the Kingdom against such desperate attempts to undermine it.”
The Yemeni Foreign Ministry said that terrorist operations targeting civilians and civilian facilities constitute a flagrant violation of all international norms and laws, particularly international humanitarian law.
Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry said that the attack represented “a dangerous escalation that threatens security and stability in the region as well as undermining all chances for peace.”
Afghanistan called on the international community to confront the Houthis over repeated sabotage operations and the targeting of civilians, which it considers a war crime.
Djibouti also decried the attack, describing it as “terrorism carried out by the coup militias.”


King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

Updated 15 min 30 sec ago
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King Salman to host 1,000 Sudanese pilgrims 

  • 500 pilgrims are to be selected from the Sudanese army
  • Another 500 to be selected from families of Sudanese soldiers who died while fighting Houthi terrorists in Yemen

RIYADH: King Salman has issued an order to host 1,000 pilgrims from Sudan to perform Hajj, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

According to the directive, the 1,000 pilgrims will perform Hajj within the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah, implemented and supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance.

Islamic Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullatif Al-Asheikh said that of this total, 500 pilgrims would be selected from the Sudanese army and those belonging to the families of Sudanese martyred while participating in the “Determination Storm and Restoring of Hope” operations within the Arab coalition forces supporting the legitimate government in Yemen.

This year, King Salman has ordered the hosting of 1,300 pilgrims from around the world as part of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques’ Guests Program for Hajj and Umrah.

Earlier, King Salman issued a directive for the hosting of 200 Hajj pilgrims from the families of victims of the terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The king also ordered 1,000 Palestinian pilgrims who are family members of martyrs to be hosted while they performed Hajj.  

Al-Asheikh said that the hosting of the families during the Hajj season was part of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to “confront and defeat terrorism” in all its forms.

So far, the number of pilgrims who have arrived in the Kingdom since the start of the Hajj season has reached 562,056, according to statistics issued by the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.

Most pilgrims — 547,505 — came to the Kingdom by air, while 8,548 entered by land and 6,003 arrived by sea, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Last year more that 1.75 million pilgrims from abroad performed Hajj, according to figures from the Saudi General Directorate of Passports.