Yemeni tribesmen launch attack on oil pipeline
(Image of an explosion at an oil pipeline, used for illustrative purposes)
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Yemeni tribesmen have launched an attack on a pipeline, interrupting the flow of oil in Marib Province.
Yemeni officials said on Thursday that the attack was carried out in the Sarwah area of Marib, located about 170 kilometers (105 miles) east of the capital, Sana’a.
The assault marked the second time the pipeline has been targeted in less than a fortnight.
An official said that armed members of tribes blocked the road which leads to the pipeline in an attempt to prevent technical teams from reaching the site to repair the installation.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, added that Yemeni army troops were sent to reopen the road.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Electricity Minister Saleh Sumai has blamed loyalists of ousted dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh for such attacks, which he says are aimed at destabilizing the country.
Over the past two years, oil and gas pipelines in Yemen have repeatedly come under attack, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings in the impoverished country.
Nearly 20 people were killed in December 2012 clashes, which were sparked after the Yemeni army launched an offensive against a group of tribesmen suspected of being behind such attacks.
Yemen produces 300,000 barrels of oil per day and is dependent on its exports to fund the state budget.