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UAE bans drones for a month after Yemeni Houthi attack

The United Arab Emirates has banned the use of drones for one month, days after Yemen’s Huthi rebels launched a deadly drone and missile attack on Abu Dhabi.

“The Ministry of Interior is currently stopping all flying operations for owners, practitioners and enthusiasts of drones, including drones and light sports aircraft,” the official WAM news agency reported late Saturday.

“Anyone performing these activities during that period and disregarding guidelines will be subject to legal liabilities,” it added, reporting the ban would last for one month.

Without mentioning the recent deadly attack, the ministry said the order was made after “misuse spotted recently” where users were “trespassing into areas where these types of activities are prohibited”.

Those who need to fly drones for work must ask the authorities for the “necessary exceptions and permits”, it added.

Last Monday, Huthi rebels claimed a drone and missile attack that struck oil facilities and the airport in the UAE capital Abu Dhabi, killing three people and wounding six.

The UAE is part of a Saudi-led military coalition that supports Yemen’s government against the Iran-backed Huthis.

The Huthis have carried out repeated cross-border attacks against Saudi Arabia, but the January 17 attack was the first acknowledged by the UAE inside its borders and claimed by the Yemeni insurgents.

Crude prices soared to seven-year highs partly because of the Abu Dhabi attacks, which exploded fuel tanks near storage facilities of oil giant ADNOC.

The Huthis later warned UAE residents to avoid “vital installations”.


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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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