Three people were killed and six injured in a fuel tanker explosion in Abu Dhabi, state news agency WAM reported.
One Pakistani and two Indian nationals were killed, and six others were wounded with injuries ranging from light to medium, when the incident took place at 10am on Monday, according to WAM and ADNOC.
Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis said they launched an attack on the United Arab Emirates, Reuters reported on Monday.
The explosion at the Mussafah Fuel Depot and a separate fire at the emirate’s new airport extension were potentially caused by drones, Abu Dhabi police said in a statement carried by the official WAM news agency.
“The UAE condemns this terrorist attack by the Houthi militia on areas and civilian facilities on Emirati soil…(It) will not go unpunished,” its foreign ministry said. “The UAE reserves the right to respond to these terrorist attacks and criminal escalation.”
The UAE, a member of the coalition, has armed and trained local Yemeni forces that recently joined fighting against the Houthis in Yemen’s energy-producing Shabwa and Marib regions.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in a phone call with his Emirati counterpart, condemned the attack, the UAE state news agency reported. White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Washington would work to hold the Houthis accountable.
The Houthis plan to announce details about a military operation in the UAE on Monday afternoon, according to a post from a Twitter account linked to the militia’s spokesperson Yahya Saree.
A full investigation has been launched into the cause of the fires.
An ADNOC spokesperson said the company was “deeply saddened” by the incident and extended its sympathies to the families of those affected, in a press statement released on Monday.
The UAE intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015 as part of the Arab Coalition. It scaled down its operations in 2019.
A UAE cargo ship, the Rwabee, was hijacked by Houthi forces on the night of January 1.
The ship was on its way from Socotra Island in Yemen to the port of Jazan in Saudi Arabia, carrying equipment leased by a Saudi company used in a field hospital on the island, according to the Arab Coalition.
The Houthis claimed that the vessel was carrying military equipment.
Onboard were seven Indian sailors, an Ethiopian, and Indonesian, a Filipino, and a sailor from Myanmar.
Iran-backed Houthis claim attack, rebels warn of further attacks
Yemen’s Houthi rebel group warned it could target more facilities in the UAE after. Monday’s attack, it said, involved five ballistic missiles and several drones.
The group’s military spokesman Yahya Saree said the missiles and drones had been launched at Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports, an oil refinery in Abu Dhabi’s Musaffah area and other “sensitive” targets in the UAE.
“The armed forces carried out … a successful military operation within the framework of an operation named Yemeni Hurricane,” Saree said in a statement broadcast on the group’s Al Masirah TV channel.