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Yemeni gas pipeline hit by third terrorist attack

15 May 2012

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) terrorists blew up a gas pipeline transporting LNG from Maarib to the Balhaf export terminal in the Gulf of Aden late on May 13. This was the third attack on the pipeline in recent months, a Yemeni government official said, and was claimed to be in response to government attacks on the group, which have killed dozens of its members in recent weeks.

AQAP terrorists have hit back at the pipeline after suffering heavy losses in clashes with Yemeni government troops
AQAP terrorists have hit back at the pipeline after suffering heavy losses in clashes with Yemeni government troops

The pipeline was blown up near Mayfaa in Shabwa province in south-east Yemen. Witnesses said flames were seen flaring into the sky from the site of the explosion that took place around midnight, some 30 minutes after soldiers guarding the pipeline clashed with a group of gunmen.

Reuters said the latest attack was likely to delay plans to resume LNG output, which had been halted by another attack in April.

The $4.5 billion Yemen LNG project has a capacity of 6.7 million tonnes per year, supplying mainly Asia, Europe and the Americas. The export terminal at Balhaf opened in 2009 and is led by French oil major Total, with three South Korea companies holding stakes.

In one attack, Yemeni warplanes struck a hideout about 70 kilometres from the southern city of Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, which the terrorists captured last year. The bombardment killed at least 10 AQAP members, the official said, with another 14 claimed killed by Yemeni government forces on May 14.

In Zinjibar, clashes between the two sides left six troops dead. The military, backed by heavy artillery, recently pushed into Zinjibar and regained control over some parts of the city.

The May 14 fighting came a day after government bombings of AQAP positions across the south killed at least 30 terrorists.

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