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UAE soldiers killed in Yemen in 'deadliest attack' yet

September 5, 2015

At least 45 soldiers from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain have been killed by a rebel missile in Yemen. The US-backed coalition is continuing efforts to restore Sanaa's exiled government.

Saui Arabian-Yemeni border
Image: AFP/Getty Images

UAE Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash said the soldiers were killed on Friday when a Houthi rebel missile struck an ammunition depot in the oil-producing Marib area of central Yemen, close to the Saudi border.

"A rocket and an explosion at a weapons cache has targeted the martyrs," Gargash said on Twitter.

Gulf news agencies said the missile strike was the deadliest attack on Gulf Arab troops in the Saudi-led military campaign against Houthi forces.

The crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE armed forces, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, also turned to Twitter to praise the troops for their sacrifice, adding that the UAE would continue to support the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.

"The sons of the UAE continue to show resilience and bravery in support of our Yemeni brothers against injustice and aggression," he tweeted.

Houthi-run media also confirmed the attacks, reporting that dozens of Emirati and Yemeni soldiers had been killed and a number of Apache helicopters and armored vehicles destroyed.

The US-allied UAE is one of the most prominent members of the Saudi-led coalition, which aims to push back Shiite rebels and their allies. In July, UAE troops aided southern militiamen to retake the southern port city of Aden.

Several thousand UAE troops are currently based in Yemen as they work to restore the country's exiled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

According to United Nations figures, around 4,500 people have died in the conflict since rebels forced Yemen's government into exile in late March.

ksb/bk (Reuters, AP)