Tribesmen blow up major oil pipeline in south Yemen, says official

The attacked pipeline transports oil from the Massila oil field in Hadramout to the Mukkala port

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Yemeni tribesmen blew up a pipeline in the eastern Hadramout province on Saturday, disrupting oil flow two days after they seized an Oil Ministry building in the province, a local government official said.

“Gunmen belonging to an alliance of Hadramout tribes blew up the oil pipeline linking Masila oilfield to Al-Daba port in the town of Shahr,” said the official, adding that production was halted.

The authorities face regular challenges from tribesmen who attack oil pipelines and power lines for reasons including demands for more employment and the release of jailed relatives.

Tribal sources said on Thursday that the Oil Ministry attack was in response to the killing of a tribal leader this month at an army checkpoint after his bodyguards refused to hand over their weapons to soldiers.

This was the first time the pipeline has been hit.

Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, is struggling to restore state authority after long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to step down in 2011.

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