Yemen tribesmen blow up major oil pipeline

AFP , Saturday 28 Dec 2013

Tribesmen on Saturday blew up a major oil pipeline in southeastern Yemen operated by foreign companies, bringing production to a halt, government and industry officials said.

"Gunmen belonging to an alliance of Hadramawt tribes blew up the oil pipeline linking Masila oilfield to Al-Daba port in the town of Shahr" on the Gulf of Aden, a local government official said.

The gunmen had planted an explosive device under the pipeline in Hadramawt province, the official said, adding that production had been halted.

An industry official confirmed the attack and that the flow of oil had ceased.

The pipeline, which is operated by "several foreign companies", usually pumps around 120,000 barrels per day, the official said.

The attack comes amid rising tensions between Yemeni authorities and southern secessionists, allied with a group of tribes from Hadramawt, an Al-Qaeda stronghold.

The violence has intensified since the killing of local tribal chief Said Ben Habrish and his bodyguards at an army checkpoint earlier this month after they refused to hand over their weapons. Two soldiers were also killed in the exchange.

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