UAE grounds most private drones for a month after Houthi attack

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CAIRO, Jan 22 (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates has grounded most private drones and light sports aircraft used for recreational purposes for a month starting Saturday, the Interior Ministry said, following a deadly attack this week by Yemen's Houthis on the Gulf country.

The UAE has said that the Iran-aligned Houthi movement used cruise missiles and ballistic missiles alongside drones in the attack on Monday that killed three civilians. read more

While the Interior Ministry did not refer directly to the attack in imposing the ban, it said the decision came after finding misuse of permits granted to those who practice these sports.

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"MOI (Ministry of Interior) is currently stopping all flying operations for owners, practitioners and enthusiasts of drones, including drones and light sports aircrafts," it said in a statement.

Exceptions might be granted by the permit authorities for businesses using drones for filming, the ministry said.

The UAE has said that the Houthi attack hit a fuel depot of state oil firm ADNOC in Musaffah and a construction site near Abu Dhabi airport. It said it intercepted part of the attack. read more

The Gulf country is part of a Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthis in Yemen. It has armed and trained local Yemeni forces that recently joined fighting against the Houthis in Yemen's energy-producing Shabwa and Marib regions.

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Reporting By Moaz Abd-Alaziz; Writing by Mahmoud Mourad; Editing by Gareth Jones and Frances Kerry

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