Tribesmen supporting al Qaeda blew up a crude pipeline linking Yemen's eastern Maarib province to its Red Sea coast, as Yemeni forces seek out gunmen hiding in the area, Al Arabiya TV reported on Saturday. Citing security sources, the channel said the incident took place on Saturday morning. Oil industry sources in Yemen said the pipeline was badly damaged and pumping had halted.
According to Reuters, the pipeline is the only channel transferring crude from Maarib to the Red Sea Terminal for export. It added Yemeni forces were bombing the homes of tribesmen including Nasser Hammad al-Doham suspected of hiding al-Qaeda members.
According to the report, there was a security cordon around an area that is home to the tribe of Hassan Abdullah Al Aqili, accused of assassinating two military officials this month.
On Friday, one person died and at least eight were hurt in the third day of battles between Yemeni forces and suspected al Qaeda men, the Defence Ministry had said.