A view of the Abha International Airport. File photo
The Saudi Press Agency, SPA, quoted Colonel Al Maliki as saying that a total of 26 passengers of different nationalities were injured by the projectile, including three women (Yemeni, Indian and Saudi) and two Saudi children.
Eight people with moderate injuries were transferred to a hospital for treatment, while 18 were treated at the site for minor injuries. There was also some physical damage to the airport lounge.
Malki stated that the military and security forces are working to determine the type of projectile used in the terrorist attack.
"The Iran-backed Houthi militia claimed full responsibility for the attack through its media, saying it used a cruise missile, which constitutes a clear recognition and full responsibility for targeting civilians and their properties that are subject to special protection under international humanitarian law. Thus, it could amount to a war crime.
"This attack also proves this terrorist militia’s acquisition of new special weapons; the continuation of Iranian regime's support and practice of cross-border terrorism; and the continued violation of relevant UN Security Council resolutions, including Resolution 2216 and Resolution 2231," he added,
Malki stressed that in the face of the Houthi militia attack, as well as its immoral violations, the Command of Joint Forces of the Coalition will take urgent and timely measures to deter this terrorist militia and ensure the protection of civilians and their properties. "In addition, terrorist operatives responsible for the planning and execution of this attack will be held accountable, in accordance with international humanitarian law and its customary rules," he concluded.
A Saudi-led coalition launched air strikes on Iran-allied Houthi forces in Yemen's capital Sanaa, Saudi state television reported early on Saturday, part of an escalation of tit-for-tat strikes that has stoked regional tensions.
'A terrorist attack by the Iranian-backed Houthi militia took place at Abha international airport, through which thousands of civilian passengers... pass daily'
The Spokesman for the Coalition, Colonel Turki Al Maliki, said the all drone attacks attempted by the terrorist militia are doomed to fail and that the coalition adheres to rules of engagement to prevent civilian casualties when responding to any threats.
In a statement on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed concern over escalating violence in Afghanistan during the past weeks.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary Mark Esper will meet their Indian counterparts for strategic and security talks on Tuesday, after which Pompeo will travel on to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Indonesia.
The number of deaths over 24 hours has remained broadly stable since the beginning of autumn, with between 700 and 800. On Saturday the US recorded 906 deaths, the Johns Hopkins tracker showed.
The World Health Organization has warned of an "exponential" rise in infections threatening health systems' ability to cope with a second wave of the pandemic, testing many nations that appeared to have the virus under control earlier this year.