Abu Dhabi: The bodies of Emirati soldiers killed on duty in Yemen were brought to the UAE on Saturday onboard a military plane of the UAE Air Force and Air Defence.
The military plane carrying the coffins landed at Al Bateen Airport, in the capital, accompanied by a group of Armed Forces officers and non-commissioned officers.
Senior Armed Forces officers held a special military ceremony at the airport to mark the return of the martyrs' bodies.
The General Command of the UAE Armed Forces on Friday mourned the soldiers who were killed in the line of duty during 'Operation Restore Hope', under the Saudi Arabia-led Arab alliance to support the people of Yemen and their legitimate government.
Three-day mourning period declared
The Ministry of Presidential Affairs has announced a three-day mourning period starting on Saturday in the wake of the death of the 45 Emirati soldiers in Yemen. Flags will be flown at half-mast.
In a statement issued on Friday, the ministry said that President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan mourns the death of the brave soldiers who martyred while performing their sacred duty as part of Arab coalition’s forces’ Operation Restoring Hope in order to defend justice and righteousness and to support those who suffer injustice.
Earlier, the number of UAE soldiers martyred in Yemen rose to 45 after 23 more soldiers succumbed to their injuries taking part in the Saudi-led operation aimed at driving out Houthi rebels.
The incident took place at an arms depot at a military base in the eastern province of Marib in central Yemen, near the border with Saudi Arabia. The tragedy occurred after the army depot was targeted by surface to surface missile.