Dubai: The families of four Emirati soldiers martyred in Yemen last week mourned their deaths on Saturday.
The bodies of the four soldiers were flown to the UAE and were buried on Saturday afternoon after funeral prayers.
Last week, the four soldiers died after their helicopter crash-landed in the southern governate of Shabwah, Yemen, after a technical failure.
The soldiers had been performing “routine duties,” the UAE’s General Command of the Armed Forces said.
The four soldiers are Captain Ahmad Khalifa Al Bloushi from Al Ain; First Lieutenant Pilot Jasim Saleh Al Zaabi, from Ras Al Khaimah; Warrant Officer Mohammad Saeed Al Hassani, from Fujairah; and Warrant Officer Samir Mohammad Murad Abu Bakr from Ajman.
Martyr Ahmad Khalifa Al Bloushi was the second of seven brothers who are all serving in the UAE army and police sectors and the son of retired army personnel.
Speaking to media, his older brother Mohammad described martyr Ahmad as a loving family member and a distinguished athlete.
“We feel honored and are proud of our son Ahmad...he is a symbol of the UAE dignity and unity... Ahmad was a symbol of a faithful UAE young man who believed in his country and his religion,” said Mohammad.
According to his brother, the 28-year-old was preparing to get married upon completing his duty in Yemen and returning back home.
The family’s last contact with him was last Wednesday, the same day that he was martyred.
The family of martyr Samir Mohammad Murad Abubakr, from Ajman, told the media that they were informed of their son’s death in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Speaking on behalf of the family, his oldest brother, Sulaiman, said they were proud of the 30-year-old because he sacrificed his life for his country and his faith.
“Samir joined the UAE Army in 2005 and served the army until he was martyred on Wednesday…we are all very proud of him,” his brother said.
“He was the youngest of 28 brothers and sisters. He got married only one year ago and has a son.”
The sister-in-law of Mohamed Saeed Al Hassani was at the family's house of the martyr when Gulf News contacted the family.
She said it was a difficult time for the family after they heard the news.
The martyr, who was 39, will always be remembered for his acts of bravery and loyalty, especially when taking care of his parents, added the sister-in-law, who gave her name only as Umm Mohammad.
“He was very kind and was the most person devoted to supporting and looking after his parents,” she said, before breaking down in tears.
She said the martyr completed almost one year and six months in the mission in Yemen. He is survived by his six children and wife.
News of the deaths came the same day that the Arab-led coalition announced that another coalition helicopter had made an emergency landing due to a malfunction. The crew members suffered minor injuries.
The Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted a coalition spokesman as saying the helicopter made the landing while returning from an inland mission in Yemen.
Since March 2015, Saudi, the UAE and other Arab allies has aimed to dislodge Iran-backed Houthi militias in a bid to restore the internationally-recognised Yemeni government to power.
Funeral prayers in Ajman
In Ajman, Shaikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman, performed the funeral prayer for martyr Samir Mohammad Murad Abu Bakr, at Shaikh Zayed Mosque in Ajman, after Maghreb prayer on Saturday.
Shaikh Ammar offered his sincere condolences to the martyr's family, praying to the Almighty Allah to bestow his mercy and eternal peace on the martyr's soul and to grant his family the patience and solace to bear his loss.
Shaikhs, senior local officials, tribal chiefs, notables, dignitaries, army officers and personnel as well a crowd of Emirati citizens and residents, also attended the funeral prayer.
Egypt mourns UAE martyrs
In Cairo, r. Shawki Allam, the Grand Mufti of Egypt, on Saturday mourned the four Emirati soldiers who were martyred in Yemen.
Dr. Shawki Allam offered heartfelt condolences and sympathies to the leadership, government and people of the UAE on the sad incident.
He prayed to Allah to bless the martyrs with His mercy and grant their families the patience and solace to bear their loss.
With inputs from Paul Crompton, Sarvy Geranpayeh, Mary Achkhanian and WAM