SANAA Feb 1 Armed tribesmen bombed Yemen's main
oil pipeline on Saturday, halting crude flow to the country's
main export terminal less than a month after it was repaired,
oil and local officials said.
The attack occurred in the Serwah district in the central
oil-producing province of Maarib, they said, and caused a huge
fire that prompted the closure of the pipeline and stopped oil
flow from the Maarib fields to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the
Yemen, which relies on crude exports to finance up to 70
percent of its budget, has suffered frequent bombings of
its main pipeline in recent years. The last one took place on
Dec. 26 and the pipeline was repaired on Jan. 5.
Disgruntled tribesmen stage these attacks to pressure the
government to provide jobs, settle land disputes or free
relatives from prison.
Such lawlessness is a global concern, particularly for the
United States and its Gulf Arab allies, because of Yemen's
strategic position next to oil exporter Saudi Arabia and to main
Yeman is also home to one of al Qaeda's most active wings.
Before a spate of attacks that began in 2011, the 270-mile
Maarib pipeline carried around 110,000 barrels per day to Ras
(Reporting By Mohammed Ghobari; Writing By Maha El Dahan;
Editing by Tom Heneghan)