(AFP) – May 27, 2010
SANAA — Yemeni tribesmen bombed and ruptured an oil pipeline in eastern Marib province on Thursday in the second such attack this week, a provincial official said.
The attack was carried out by members of the Al-Shabwan tribe who set off explosives they attached to the pipeline which runs through their land from the Safar oil field, the official said, adding that the pipeline was leaking.
The same tribe attacked the pipeline, petrol stations, power lines and government buildings on Tuesday to avenge the death of kinsman Sheikh Jaber Ali al-Shabwani, a top provincial official, in a botched anti-Qaeda air raid in Marib the night before.
Shabwani and four of his bodyguards were killed in the Yemeni air strike which targeted a wanted Al-Qaeda suspect who was wounded but escaped, according to security sources.
Two tribesmen were killed and a policeman was wounded in the unrest on Tuesday, a tribal source said.
A tribal source said on Wednesday that the tribesmen had agreed to a truce with the government, pending an investigation into Shabwani's death.
Yemen's high security council said on Tuesday that President Ali Abdullah Saleh had ordered the formation of a commission of inquiry into the events in Marib.
Thursday's pipeline bombing appeared to be an isolated incident, with no reports of other attacks or of clashes between tribesmen and security forces.
Yemen is the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and has been the scene of several attacks claimed by the group targeting foreign missions, tourist sites and oil installations.
Marib is one of Al-Qaeda's Yemeni strongholds.
The group has suffered setbacks amid US pressure on Sanaa to crack down. But its presence threatens to turn Yemen into a base for training and plotting attacks, a top US counter-terrorism official said in September.
In addition to the Al-Qaeda threat, Yemen -- the Arab world's poorest country -- is also contending with a separatist movement in the south and the aftermath of a six-year uprising by Zaidi Shiite rebels in the far north.
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