Al-Qaida bombs Yemen's LNG export pipeline

2012-12-09 10:21:58 GMT2012-12-09 18:21:58(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

SANAA, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- Al-Qaida militants on Sunday blew up a pipeline that transfers Yemen's liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the Gulf of Aden export terminal, an interior ministry official told Xinhua.

The explosion took place in Asilan area of the southeast province of Shabwa, neighboring to the oil-rich province of Marib, where the country's main crude oil export pipeline was attacked by unidentified gunmen on Friday for the fifth time in less than a month.

"Al-Qaida fighters exploded a section of the LNG export pipeline in Asilan this morning," the official told Xinhua Sunday on condition of anonymity.

Local media confirmed the attack on the gas line in Asilan area.

The French-led LNG company resumed exporting gas last month after the pipeline was repaired following the previous attack on Oct. 30.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni army in Marib launched a fierce offensive Sunday against suspected hideouts of militants of Wadi Abida, whom the local authorities accused of repeatedly attacking the oil pipeline and killing senior military officials in an ambush on Saturday.

Independent Almasdaronline cited local tribesmen in Wadi Abida as saying that fighter jets stroke several houses and farms in the Wadi Abida area and killed a man identified as Saleh Maely. Local tribesmen said Maely has no links to any militants.

The Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) said Saturday in a statement obtained by Xinhua that it ambushed a military convoy near the oil fields of Safer Saturday afternoon, killing commander General Nasser Mahdi Farid and several others.

The defense ministry reported that the death toll from Saturday 's attack in Marib against the military convoy increased to nine, including Farid, chief-of-staff of the central military command in Marib.

The government has failed to repair the line due to continuing conflicts in Marib, highlighting the persistent insecurity in the country even one year after a political upheaval.

U.S. drones and Yemeni warplanes have regularly targeted the Yemen-based al-Qaida wing, which exploited security vacuum during Yemen's unrest last year. Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi said fighting the AQAP tops his daily agenda when he was elected in February.

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