In the latest of attacks targeting Saudi Arabia airports, an armed drone dispatched by Yemeni rebels struck the kingdom’s Abha airport early Tuesday, injuring nine people, according to Saudi military officials.
In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency, a Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen said that nine civilians were wounded, including one Indian and eight Saudis, none seriously.
Since last month, Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi rebels have targeted Saudi Arabia repeatedly with armed drones and missiles, escalating tensions amid efforts by the United Nations and the international community to broker a peace in Yemen, the Middle East’s poorest country.
On Tuesday, the rebels’ al-Masirah TV said they had launched a “large operation” to target the airport in Abha, about 125 miles north of Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia. The Houthis have targeted that airport and others several times since June 12, when an attack injured at least 26 people inside the Abha facility.
The U.S.-backed Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthi rebels for the past four years in an effort to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government and prevent Iran’s growing regional influence.
The conflict has worsened a humanitarian crisis that has left tens of thousands of people dead and millions on the brink of famine.
— Sudarsan Raghavan
An airstrike hit a detention center for migrants early Wednesday in the Libyan capital, killing at least 40 people, a health official in the country’s U.N.-supported government said.
The airstrike targeting the detention center in Tripoli’s Tajoura neighborhood also wounded 80 migrants, said Malek Merset, a spokesman for the Health Ministry. Merset posted photos of migrants who were being taken in ambulances to hospitals.
In a statement, the U.N.-supported government blamed the self-styled Libyan National Army, led by Khalifa Hifter, for the airstrike.
Local media reported that the LNA targeted a militia camp near the detention center.
The LNA launched an offensive against the weak Tripoli-based government in April. Hifter’s forces control much of the country’s east and south but were dealt a significant blow last week when militias allied with the Tripoli government reclaimed the strategic town of Gharyan, about 62 miles from the capital.
— Associated Press
The captain of a humanitarian rescue vessel who defied Italian orders over the weekend by docking at a port with 40 migrants aboard was released Tuesday from house arrest.
Judge Alessandra Vella in Sicily pushed back against Italy’s hard-line response to the case, lifting Carola Rackete’s arrest orders and indicating that she saw no grounds for the charges.
Rackete, who has become an emblem of resistance against Europe’s closed-door stance toward migrants, still faces legal jeopardy, and she will be questioned next week in a separate inquiry into whether she aided illegal immigration, according to Italian news outlets.
But Vella’s ruling dealt a blow to the Italian government’s broader effort to limit migration by punishing rescuers who bring their boats to shore against orders.
— Chico Harlan
Torrential monsoon rain has brought Mumbai, India’s second most-populous city, to a grinding halt. In 24 hours, it received almost 15 inches of rain, the highest amount in 14 years, according to the country’s Meteorological Department.
The forecast called for very heavy rain for another day.
Twenty-four people lost their lives, according to local media reports. Maharashtra state, of which Mumbai is the capital, declared a public holiday Tuesday and asked the city’s 20 million residents to stay indoors. Water in some streets rose to waist level, and low-lying suburban areas were worst-hit.
Service on several trains, known as the city’s lifelines, remained suspended as tracks were submerged. Air traffic was paralyzed after a plane skidded off a runway, forcing its closure at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.
— Niha Masih
Opposition leaders arrested amid standoff in Sudan: A Sudanese opposition group said two of its leaders were arrested amid a weeks-long standoff between the ruling military council and a protest coalition that held mass marches this week. The Sudanese Professionals' Association, which has spearheaded protests since December, said security forces arrested Yassin Abdel-Karim, head of the Sudanese Teachers' Committee, in the capital, Khartoum. The committee is part of the SPA. It said they also arrested lawyer Abdel-Majed Aidrous in the city of Atbara, the birthplace of the uprising that led to the military overthrow of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir in April.
U.S. to resume aid to Somali military unit: The United States is resuming some assistance to a unit of the Somali military that is not working directly with American forces, U.S. officials said, about 18 months after aid was suspended to such units over corruption concerns. The aid, aimed at helping fend off Islamist insurgents, includes food, fuel and nonlethal equipment.
— From news services