Fire rages at bombed Yemeni oil refinery

2015-07-14 13:31
Fire blazes from the Aden oil refinery following a reported shelling attack by Shi'ite Huthi rebels in the embattled southern Yemeni city of Aden. (Saleh Al-Obeidi, AFP)

Fire blazes from the Aden oil refinery following a reported shelling attack by Shi'ite Huthi rebels in the embattled southern Yemeni city of Aden. (Saleh Al-Obeidi, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Aden - A blaze that erupted at an oil refinery in the Yemeni port of Aden after being hit by rockets was raging on Tuesday, as clashes intensified between rebels and pro-government fighters, officials said.

The refinery was targeted on Monday by rebels, said Nasser Shayef, the spokesperson for the facility, warning it could lead to a "humanitarian and environmental catastrophe".

The fire broke out when rockets struck pipelines within the refinery.

It spread overnight, threatening to reach nearby reservoirs, said Shayef, adding that civil defence units supported by residents of Buraiqa district were struggling to contain the blaze.

The neighbourhood which is held by southern fighters allied with exiled President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi has been subject to attacks by Shi’ite Huthi rebels allied with troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

But the rebels have accused warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition, which supports pro-Hadi forces, of bombing the refinery, according to a statement carried by rebel-controlled media.

The refinery has not been receiving any oil via the port, but it still has 1.2 million tons of crude in storage and also gas tanks.

Warplanes struck rebel positions in Aden overnight, a military official said.

Fighting and air raids have persisted despite a UN-declared six-day ceasefire that formally began before midnight Friday.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he was "very much disappointed" by Yemen's failed ceasefire but retained hope the fighting might still end, his spokesman said.

The United Nations has declared Yemen a level-3 humanitarian emergency, the highest on its scale, with nearly half the country facing a food crisis.

More than 21.1 million people, over 80% of Yemen's population need aid, with 13 million facing food shortages, while access to water has become difficult for 9.4 million people.

The UN says the conflict has killed more than 3 200 people, about half of them civilians, since late March.

Read more on:    yemen  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.