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Pilot, co-pilot die as UAE helicopter goes down in Yemen

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Helicopters of the UAE armed forces fly during a military show at the opening of the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre in the Emirati capital on February 22, 2015. (AFP)

The pilot and copilot of a United Arab Emirates military helicopter have been killed after their aircraft crashed in Yemen.      

According to a statement released by the UAE’s armed forces’ general command, the chopper went down on Monday while taking part in the Saudi-led military operations against the crisis-hit country. The statement did not specify the type of helicopter or the circumstances and location of the incident.

But, according to witnesses quoted by AFP, the crash took place in the southern port city of Aden. 

On Sunday, another UAE chopper went down in international waters, killing all its passengers in an incident which the general command referred to as "a routine sortie over international waters," without giving further information.

Meanwhile, Saudi forces used cluster bombs during an attack on the northwestern Yemeni province of Sa'ada, killing one civilian and injuring another.

According to the human rights group Amnesty International, Riyadh has killed and wounded at least 16 civilians, including nine children, between July 2015 and April 2016 with banned cluster bombs.

Yemeni children stand outside houses which were destroyed several months ago in a Saudi airstrike in the capital Sana’a, on March 12, 2016. (AFP)

Last week, Amnesty dismissed as “utterly shameful” the United Kingdom’s claims that no British-made cluster bombs have been used by Saudis against civilians in Yemen.

“It is utterly shameful that the British government has sought to evade responsibility, denying the use of UK-supplied cluster munitions in Yemen by the Saudi Arabia–led coalition despite comprehensive and compelling evidence gathered by Amnesty International on the ground,” said Amnesty's senior crisis response adviser Lama Fakih.

Evidence provided by Amnesty in late May showed that Saudi Arabia had used British “BL-755” cluster bombs in an attack on the remote village of al-Khadhra in Yemen’s Hajjah province.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to reinstate former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured in the Saudi aggression.

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