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Yemen's export gas pipeline blown up: Local official

Bomb attack hits gas pipeline to the east of Sanaa just days after it was repaired following previous attack; assailants as yet unknown

AFP , Tuesday 4 Sep 2012
Former Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh speaks during a ceremony marking the 30th anniversary of his General People's Congress party (GPC) establishment in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Sept. 3, 2012. (Photo: AP)
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Unknown assailants Tuesday blew up a gas pipeline that feeds Yemen's liquefied natural gas to the Balhaf export terminal, a local official said, just days after it was repaired from previous sabotage.

A bomb planted underneath the pipe in Safir fields, in the Marib Province, east of Sanaa, exploded early Tuesday, the official said.

Yemen LNG said on Saturday that the pipeline had been repaired after a bomb put it out of service in August.Other bombs were defused after being discovered on other points of the pipeline in the same area, the official said. 

Suspected Al-Qaeda militants had blown up the pipeline last month in the southern Shabwa province.France's Total has an almost 40 percent interest in the Balhaf plant.

The 320-kilometre (200-mile) pipeline linking Marib province to Balhaf, in Yemen's mostly lawless south, has been repeatedly sabotaged by Al-Qaeda militants.

On May 13, the pipeline was blown up near Mayfaa, also in Shabwa, nearly three weeks after it was sabotaged on April 26, shortly after it was repaired following a similar March attack.Yemen began exporting liquefied natural gas from Balhaf in 2009.

In May, a French security official working for Total was wounded and a Yemeni soldier killed when gunmen attacked their car in Sayun in the eastern province of Hadramawt.

Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen has exploited the decline in central government control that accompanied Arab Spring-inspired protests that eventually forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to cede power in February.

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