Yemen gunmen blow up oil pipeline

2013-01-19 12:05

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Aden - Gunmen in southeast Yemen have blown up an oil pipeline that transports at least 8 000 barrels per day to export terminals on the Gulf of Aden, suspending operations, a local official said on Saturday.

The unidentified assailants "planted an explosive device under the pipeline" overnight in the village of Rudum in Shabwa province, some 25km from the Nushaymah export terminal, the official said.

The blast brought oil pumping to a halt, he added.

The pipeline is operated by the Korea National Oil Co (KNOC), and transfers crude from oilfields in the Iyadh region, also in Shabwa.

It has been repeatedly attacked, as have other oil and gas installations in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula nation which relies on its modest energy exports as a main source of revenue.

The attacks, blamed on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) or tribesmen seeking to barter with the authorities, have become more frequent in the wake of a 2011 uprising that forced out veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Yemen lost more than $4bn in revenues between February 2011 and July 2012 because of such attacks, Petroleum and Minerals Minister Hisham Abdullah said at the time.

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