Men stand next to a tank at a storage facility of oil giant ADNOC in the Msaffah industrial district in the Emiarti capital Abu Dhabi (AFP)
New Delhi: Two Indians and a Pakistani were confirmed killed near the Abu Dhabi airport in the United Arab Emirates on Monday in an explosion of fuel tanks caused by a suspected drone attack carried out by Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The suspected audacious terror attack sent shock waves through the region.
The UAE authorities informed the Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi that two Indians were among the three dead, but there were no further details till Monday evening. The UAE has strong ties with Saudi Arabia that has led a campaign against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Indian embassy in Abu Dhabi tweeted: "UAE authorities have informed that the explosion at Mussafah, near ADNOC’s storage tanks, has led to 3 casualties, which includes 2 Indian nationals. The Mission @IndembAbuDhabi is in close touch with concerned UAE authorities for further details." India had recently said it "is concerned at the recent intensification of fighting in Yemen and hopes that all parties will come to the negotiating table to find a peaceful resolution to the Yemen issue".
International media reports quoting an Abu Dhabi police statement said three tanker trucks carrying fuel exploded in the emirate’s Mussafah area after catching fire, with preliminary investigations pointing to a drone attack. According to these reports, Yemen’s Houthi rebels said they would soon make a statement about "a special military operation that was carried out in the heart of the UAE".
This comes just days after seven of the 11 crew members of a UAE-flagged vessel seized by Houthi insurgents in Yemen on January 2 off the port of Hodeidah were confirmed to be Indians, with New Delhi urging the Houthi rebels "to ensure the safety and well-being of the crew members and release them immediately".