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Victims of Abu Dhabi's deadly Houthi attack named

The National logo The National 21/01/2022 Shireena Al Nowais

Hardeep Singh, 29, and fellow Indian Hardev Singh were two of the three men killed in a deadly explosion in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

The Pakistan embassy confirmed on Friday that Mamoor Khan was the third man who died in the strike, and that his body reached Peshawar airport on Wednesday.

An Indian embassy spokeswoman said the remains of two victims had been repatriated on Thursday.

Projectiles struck Adnoc's oil terminal in Mussaffah and a building site at Abu Dhabi International Airport in attacks by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Speaking to The National, Hardeep's relative Gagandeep Singh, 33, said that his cousin's nickname among the family was “ladla” – meaning “loved one".

He had a short life but he achieved so much in this short time

Gagandeep Singh

“We were more than brothers. He was the youngest in the family and we all loved him. He is a very nice man. An honest man,” he said through tears.

“Till now we feel that he would call us. We do accept it and it is in God’s hands but this is very hard.”

Hardeep was one of three drivers killed in the blast. He had been working for Adnoc for two years when the explosion happened.

The attack on the civilian facility injured six and killed three. It was condemned by world leaders and diplomatic efforts are under way to add Yemen's Houthi group to the US list of terrorist groups.

Relatives mourn near the coffin of Hardeep Singh, who was killed in the January 17 drone attack in Abu Dhabi. All photos: AFP

Relatives mourn near the coffin of Hardeep Singh, who was killed in the January 17 drone attack in Abu Dhabi. All photos: AFP
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Hardeep was one of the youngest killed in the blast. He was from Amritsar, Punjab. He married 10 months ago and was an only child. His father passed away two years ago. “His mother had no one but him,” Gagandeep said.

“There is no one she has in the world other than Hardeep. There is now no one. He used to support his mum.”

The UAE Government and leadership have offered their support for the families of the victims. Hardeep’s mother and family will now be provided for by the UAE Government and Adnoc.

Hardeep was an active and vibrant young man who loved sports and activities, and had celebrated his birthday last month.

“He was like a hero. He was very fit and tall. Back home he was captain of the Kabaddi team”

Hardeep celebrated his birthday on December 29, less than three weeks before the incident.

“I can’t believe that he died a month after his birthday.

“He had a short life but he achieved so much in this short time,” he said.

The last time Gagandeep spoke to his cousin, he said Hardeep wished him a happy holiday at the Indian festival of Lohri, which fell on January 14.

“I will never forget these words,” he said.

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