ADEN: Two pilots died when a United Arab Emirates Mirage plane crashed in Yemen on Monday due to a technical fault while conducting military operations for the Saudi-led alliance, the coalition said in a statement carried by Saudi state media.
Local Yemeni officials said the plane was flying low when it crashed into a mountain after it conducted bombing raids in Buraiqa district in northwestern Aden where Islamist militants are based. Hani al-Yazidi, director of the Buraiqa district in Aden, said authorities had found the plane’s wreckage after it had crashed into a mountain.
Another local official, who declined to be identified, said rescue teams had found the body of one of the pilots and were searching for the second.
Pictures taken by a Reuters photographer showed local fighters holding pieces of wreckage believed to be part of the plane. Another photograph showed rescue personnel loading what appeared to be the body of one of the pilots into a truck.
The UAE armed forces had earlier said in a brief statement that the jet taking part in the fighting was "lost".
The government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, has embarked on a campaign against Islamist militants based in northern Aden whom it accuses of being behind armed attacks and suicide bombings that have killed scores of people since last year.