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Suspected drones disrupt Dubai flights

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By Agence France-Presse

Flights at Dubai’s international airport, one of the world’s busiest, were briefly disrupted Sunday due to “suspected drone activity,” officials said.

Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest air hubs in the world (AFP Photo/GIUSEPPE CACACE)

Dubai International Airport is one of the busiest air hubs in the world (AFP Photo/GIUSEPPE CACACE)

Two arriving flights had to be diverted, it said, while media reports said the planes had landed at a smaller airport in the neighbouring emirate of Sharjah.

“Dubai Airports can confirm that flight arrivals were briefly disrupted at Dubai International from 12:36 (0836 GMT) to 12:51 (0851 GMT) UAE local time this afternoon due to suspected drone activity,” a spokesperson said in a statement Sunday.

Flights at the airport have been disrupted several times in recent years by recreational drones, with the last incident occurring in February.

However, the latest disruption after military drones were used to stage major attacks on Saudi Arabia, including last week’s devastating strike on key oil facilities that knocked out half of Riyadh’s crude production.

Yemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels last week threatened to use military drones to strike targets in the United Arab Emirates, which is a key partner in the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Huthis since 2015.

The Huthis have in the past claimed to have targeted the UAE cities of Dubai and Abu Dhabi airports with drones, but Emirati authorities have strongly denied any such incident.

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