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A Black Hawk helicopter, belonging to the United Arab Emirate (UAE), has crashed in southern Yemen, killing two of its crew, a report says.
According to Yemen’s official Saba news agency, the chopper crashed in the Amqeel area of Ar Rawdah district in the south-central Yemeni province of Shabwah on Friday afternoon, killing its pilot and co-pilot.
The report, citing an unnamed military official, added that four other crew members sustained injuries in the incident.
However, the AFP quoted Colonel Turki al-Maliki, a spokesman for the Saudi-led military coalition engaged in a war in Yemen, as saying that no one was fatally injured in the crash as the pilot made an emergency landing in the area due to “a technical defect while returning from an operation in Yemen.”
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has been heavily bombarding Yemen as part of a brutal campaign against its impoverished southern neighbor in an attempt to reinstall Yemen’s former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement, which is in control of large parts of Yemen, including the capital Sana’a.
The UAE is one of the main allies of Riyadh in its deadly war against the Yemeni nation. The United States has also been providing arms and military training as well as bombing coordinates to the Saudi-led coalition since the beginning of the protracted war, which has failed to achieve its goals.
Latest figures show that the military campaign, which lacks any international mandate, has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis and wounded thousands more. The Saudi aggression has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.