Oil pipeline bombed in southeast Yemen

Oil pipeline bombed in southeast Yemen

Suspected al-Qaida militants blew up an oil pipeline in Yemen's southeastern province of Shabwa on Tuesday night, causing huge fire in the area, a security official told Xinhua.

The blast took place in Mafrak al-Saeed district, 40 km southwest of Ataq, the provincial capital of Shabwa, and targeted a pipeline carrying crude oil from Shabwa to the Bir Ali terminal on the Gulf of Aden, the local security official said on condition of anonymity.

"This oil export pipeline was bombed on April 2 in the al-Saeed area," the official said.

Initial investigations indicate that al-Qaida militants were behind the bombing, which had conducted a series of attacks on the oil pipelines in Shabwa, he added.

Witnesses told Xinhua anonymously that "an armed group fired more than three rocket-propelled grenades on the pipeline, setting it on fire for the second time in less than two weeks."

The pipeline was attacked one day after militants of the Yemen- based al-Qaida wing attacked several barracks of the army forces in Yemen's southern province of Abyan, sparking deadly clashes that left at least 60 soldiers and more than 54 terrorists killed, local government officials and tribal chiefs told Xinhua.

Yemen's economy is dependent on oil production, with oil export accounting for about 63 percent of the impoverished country's budget.

The al-Qaida militants claimed responsibility for bombing a gas pipeline in Shabwa on March 30 that halted output operations along the 320 km gas pipeline linking the oil-producing Maarib province to Belhaf terminal on the Arabian Sea.

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