Three dead, six injured in UAE fuel tanker explosions claimed by Yemen’s Houthis
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Three people are reportedly dead and six injured in an attack in Abu Dhabi on Monday claimed by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
The attack caused fires and resulted in three petroleum tanker explosions near state oil firm ADNOC’s storage facilities. The deceased are one Pakistani and two Indian nationals, according to UAE state news agency WAM.
The six wounded are suffering from mild and medium injuries, WAM said, citing the Abu Dhabi police.
The fires began Monday afternoon in the industrial area of Musaffah and at a construction site near Abu Dhabi International airport in the UAE capital, Abu Dhabi police said in a statement. Authorities believe the attack was carried out by drones.
“Preliminary investigations suggest that the cause of the fires are small flying objects, possibly belonging to drones, that fell in the two areas. Teams from the competent authorities have been dispatched and the fire is currently being put out,” the police statement said.
The price of oil was unaffected, with international benchmark Brent crude trading at around $85.89 per barrel in the hours following the explosions, down about 0.2% from the previous day. The UAE is the third-largest oil producing member of OPEC, and ADNOC — the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company — controls oil operations in Abu Dhabi, home to the vast majority of the state’s crude.
The UAE is the world’s seventh-biggest oil producer, pumping just over 4 million barrels per day.
The initial statement said there were “no significant damages resulting from the two accidents”, adding that an investigation has been launched.
A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi movement, which since 2015 has been at war with a Saudi-led coalition that includes the UAE, said that its militants have launched a military operation in the Gulf sheikhdom and that it would reveal more details in the hours to come, according to Reuters.
The UAE largely withdrew from Yemen in 2019, roughly four years into a bloody war that has plunged the Middle East’s poorest country into mass starvation and fueled the proxy fighting between Saudi Arabia and its regional adversary Iran, which backs the Houthis with funding and weapons.
Abu Dhabi still carries significant influence among Yemeni forces it has armed and trained to combat the Houthis, who in 2014 forced out Yemen’s Saudi-backed government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
The Houthis have carried out thousands of cross-border missile and drone attacks into Saudi Arabia in the years since Riyadh launched its aerial assault on Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of Yemenis.