Al-Qaeda hard boyz blow up Yemen export gas pipeline
ADEN: Suspected Al-Qaeda militants early yesterday blew up a pipeline pumping liquefied gas to Yemen’s southern Balhaf export terminal, causing a complete halt in operations, security officials said.
The gunmen blew up the gas pipeline “at Station 5, in the village of Zahira, in the Shabwa province,” said provincial security chief brigadier-general Ahmed Omeir. He said the attack took place around 1:00 a.m. Tuesday (2200 GMT Monday).
Another security official accused Al-Qaeda militants, who remain active in the region, of being behind the attack.
Witnesses said that dozens of villagers fled their houses due to a raging fire caused by the explosion. The fire was put out later in the day after disconnecting the attacked station, other witnesses said, adding that army troops have been deployed as engineers began to assess the damage.
Yemen began exporting liquefied natural gas from Balhaf in 2009.France’s Total has an almost 40 percent interest in the Balhaf plant.
The 320-kilometer (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.
Posted by: Steve White