BEIRUT

Middle East

Yemen gunmen sabotage oil pipeline

FILE - A tribal fighter jumps off a truck on a road linking the Yemeni capital Sanaa with the oil-producing province of Marib June 26, 2012. (REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah)

ADEN: Gunmen on Wednesday attacked an oil pipeline that pumps some 8,000 barrels of crude per day from southeastern Yemen to export terminals on the Gulf of Aden, suspending operations, an official said.

The unknown assailants opened fire at a section of the pipeline on the outskirts of the town of Rawda, in the province of Shabwa, causing a halt in oil pumping, a local official told AFP.

The pipeline is operated by the Korea National Oil Co (KNOC), and transfers crude from oil fields in the Iyadh region in Shabwa province to Belhaf terminal.

An explosion had hit the same pipeline on November 8.

Gas and oil pipelines have been a regular target for sabotage attacks in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation, which relies on its modest energy exports as a main source of revenue.

The attacks, blamed on tribesmen seeking to barter with the authorities or Al-Qaeda, have become more frequent in the wake of a 2011 uprising that forced out veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen had lost more than $4 billion in revenues since February 2011 due to the attacks, Petroleum and Minerals Minister Hisham Abdullah said in early July.

 

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