Tribesmen airstrike blows up Yemen oil pipeline

Kinsmen of a Yemeni mediator killed in an errant airstrike blew up an oil pipeline in the second such attack this week, a government official said.

Tribesmen airstrike blows up Yemen oil pipeline


Kinsmen of a Yemeni mediator killed in an errant airstrike blew up an oil pipeline on Thursday in the second such attack this week, a government official said.

The airstrike has provoked clashes between tribesmen and the army, stoking instability in Yemen.

"Tribesmen blew up the same pipeline again. Teams have been sent for repairs," a government official said, declining to be named. Tribesmen had also damaged four electricity pylons since Wednesday, triggering severe power cuts in the capital, he said. "They are not allowing repair teams to reach the pylons."

An oil ministry official told Reuters oil exports had not been affected by the blast, the second since Tuesday on the pipeline which carries crude oil to a Red Sea terminal.

The tribesmen earlier threatened to call off a truce with the government and resume hostilities unless an investigation into the strike that killed Jaber al-Shabwani and four others produces results by Friday.

A Yemeni website aligned with the opposition said the strike was carried out by a drone, a weapon Yemen is not believed to have. U.S, forces have used drones in Yemen in fighting so-called al Qaeda members in the past, but a U.S. diplomat declined to say if Washington was involved.

Members of Shabwani's tribe agreed to the truce on condition that it investigate how he was killed and punish those responsible.

"We rejected tribal arbitration in favour of the formation of an inquiry committee to investigate the incident and expose those involved," Shabwani's father Ali told Reuters.

In a statement, the tribe set a Friday deadline for the completion of the investigation. It warned that "if (the state) does not present those responsible, it can expect a harsh response".

A statement from a top Yemeni security body expressed sorrow over al-Shabwani's death, calling him a martyr, but did not say who might have carried out the strike or what type of aircraft was used.

Separately, a soldier was killed and three were injured in clashes with armed men in southern Lahej province, the site of increasing separatist unrest, a local official told Reuters.

Reuters

Last Mod: 28 Mayıs 2010, 00:54
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