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GCC members, officials strongly condemn latest Iran-backed Houthi attack on Abu Dhabi

The latest Iran-backed Houthi attack on UAE soil drew strong condemnations, with GCC members and world leaders issuing statements of support for the Gulf nation.

The foreign affairs ministries of Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Kuwait stood in solidarity with the UAE and have offered support in protecting the country’s “security and stability,” according to the Emirati state media WAM.

On Monday, the UAE successfully intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile launched by the Houthis and destroyed the launch site in Yemen.

In a WAM report, the UAE’s defense ministry reported no damages since debris from the missile fell in unpopulated areas.

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Additionally, Dr. Nayef Falah Mubarak al-Hajraf, Secretary-General of the GCC, said that “these terrorist attacks by the Houthi militia reflects its blatant defiance of the international community and its disregard for all international laws and norms,” according to a statement carried by WAM.

In a meeting between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and David Hurley, Governor-General of Australia, the Australian diplomat also condemned the attempted attacks.

Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu stated that Turkey “sides with the friendly and brotherly countries,” after “strongly condemning” the attack during a press conference in Bahrain.

This marks the third cross border aerial attack by the Houthis against the UAE in less than three weeks.

On January 17, the Houthis launched a deadly attack of missiles and drones, targeting an oil depot in Abu Dhabi.

The strike led to three deaths and a reported explosion of three petroleum tankers.

This was followed by another missile attack on Abu Dhabi on January 24, which authorities say was intercepted with no casualties. The UAE revealed then it had coordinated efforts with US forces at al-Dhafra Air Base near Abu Dhabi.

A senior White House official revealed on Monday that US military forces had deployed Patriot surface-to-air missiles at the ballistics fired by the Houthis.

US President Joe Biden insisted that the US was in “daily contact with the UAE” to address these threats, during a statement made before meeting with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Monday.

“I’ve directed Secretary Austin to do everything he can to communicate the support of the United States for the UAE, Saudi Arabia and throughout the Gulf region. America will have the backs of our friends in the region,” Biden said.

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US: Bodies of two of three missing kids found in Minnesota lake

The bodies of two young children have been recovered from a Minnesota lake, and searchers are still looking for a third they fear may have been intentionally drowned.

Meanwhile, the father of the children died at a different location hours earlier, and their mother is missing. Names have not been released.

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The chain of events began Friday morning when the father was found dead at a mobile home park in the town of Maplewood, near Minneapolis. Police determined that the woman had left with the children, and a search began.

Maplewood Police Lt. Joe Steiner said the woman’s car was found near Vadnais Lake around 4 p.m. Friday. The shoes of the children were found on the shore.

A search of the lake found one child’s body Friday evening. A second body was found overnight. Searchers from several organizations were busy Saturday looking for the third, as well as the mother.

Authorities believe all three children were under the age of 5.

“There’s nothing more tragic than the loss of young children,” Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said at a news conference on Friday. He called the deaths a “likely triple homicide.”

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Foreign firefighters arrive in Greece for summer wildfire season

Several dozen Romanian and Bulgarian firefighters took up their posts in Greece on Saturday, the first members of a European force being deployed to the country to provide backup in case of major wildfires during the summer.

More than 200 firefighters and equipment from Bulgaria, France, Germany, Romania, Norway and Finland will be on standby during the hottest months of July and August in Greece, where a spate of wildfires caused devastation last summer.

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A group of 28 Romanian firefighters with eight vehicles, and 16 firefighters from Bulgaria with four vehicles, were the first to arrive for the two-month mission, financed and coordinated under the European Union’s civil protection mechanism.

“We thank you very much for coming to help us during a difficult summer for our country, and for proving that European solidarity is not just theoretical, it’s real,” Greek Civil Protection Minister Christos Stylianides said on Saturday as he welcomed the members of the Romanian mission in Athens.

“When things get tough, you will be side by side with our Greek firefighters so we can save lives and property.”

The Bulgarian firefighters have been stationed in Larissa, in central Greece.

Last summer’s wildfires ravaged about 300,000 acres (121,000 hectares) of forest and bushland in different parts of Greece as the country experienced its worst heatwave in 30 years.

Following sharp criticism of its response to the fires, the Greek government set up a new civil protection ministry and promised to boost firefighting capacities.

In Greece’s worst wildfire disaster, 102 people were killed when a blaze tore through the seaside town of Mati and nearby areas close to Athens during the summer of 2018.

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One killed, six injured in shootout between migrant groups in Serbia

One migrant was killed and at least six others, including a teenage girl, were injured Saturday in a shootout between migrant groups in Serbia near the Hungarian border, the state-run RTS television reported.

The 16-year-old girl sustained life threatening injuries in the incident that occurred in a forest in the outskirts of Subotica, some 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Belgrade, where the injured were hospitalized, RTS reported.

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Police, who made no immediate comment, blocked access to the forest where the incident took place, only around a kilometer from the Hungarian border.

Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin rushed to the scene.

The injured, aged between 20 and 30, have no documents, Subotica mayor Stevan Bakic told local media.

It is not known what triggered the incident, he added.

Local media reported that the shootout occurred between Afghan and Pakistani migrants most likely over human trafficking from the area to European Union member Hungary.

Serbia lies on the so-called Balkans route used by migrants heading towards Western Europe as they flee war and poverty in the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

Although the route is nowhere as busy as it was during Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, tens of thousands of illegal migrants still cross the region annually.

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