Officials confirmed this Friday that armed saboteurs managed late on Thursday evening to elude security and blew up a section of Yemen eastern region oil pipeline in the restive province of Marib, east of the capital, Sana’a.
Plagued by tribal dissidence the province of Marib has been the scene of many acts of sabotage over the past two years, mostly against power lines and the oil industry.
Speaking to reporters earlier today, a local official noted under cover of anonymity, “Armed men blew up the pipeline in the Al-Arqain area of Marib province late on Thursday, just one hour after it was repaired.”
He added, “Technicians, accompanied by security forces, are trying to seal a breach in the oil pipeline to ensure the pumping of crude can resume.”
Because this new attack damaged the core structure of the pipeline, technicians had to call for a halt in all activities, putting yet again the oil industry in a precarious position as it will have to carry to cost of repairs and lost revenues.
Although no group claimed responsibility so far, local officials have pointed an accusing finger toward local tribes. Tribesmen have often reverted to targeting state interests and infrastructures in order to impose their agendas and force Sana’a to comply with their demands.
Yemen Oil Minister, Ahmed Dares confirmed earlier this week that the country had lost an estimated $4.75 billion to sabotage in between March 2011 and March 2013; funds which could have been utilized to salvage Yemen’s ailing economy and boost reconstruction programs.