SANAA Dec 4 Yemen began repairing its main
Maarib oil pipeline and power lines on Tuesday after reaching a
deal with tribesmen to stop attacking the country's
infrastructure, an official said.
The Yemeni army launched an offensive on Sunday against
tribesmen suspected of repeatedly blowing up the main oil export
pipeline and attacking power lines.
"According to an agreement between Maarib's governor and
tribal leaders, the military campaign was halted and the
technical teams were allowed in to fix the oil pipeline and
electricity lines," the official told Reuters.
Some 30 tanks and other armoured vehicles took part in the
army offensive against tribal fighters in the Wadi Obaida area
of the central oil-producing province of Maarib.
Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have repeatedly been sabotaged
by Islamist militants or disgruntled tribesmen since
anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011, causing
fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished
Before the attacks, the Maarib pipeline had typically
carried 110,000 barrels a day (bpd) of light crude to the Ras
Isa export terminal on the Red Sea coast.
A long closure of the pipeline last year forced the
country's largest refinery at Aden to shut, leaving the small
producer dependent on imports and fuel donations from Saudi
Separately, two civilians were killed and three others were
injured in clashes between the army and southern secessionists
from a group known as al-Hirak, in the town of al-Jalila in the
southern province of Dalea, a local official and residents said.
Many southerners demand restoration of the state, which
merged with North Yemen in 1990, and complain that northerners
have discriminated against them and usurped their resources.
Most of Yemen's fast-declining oil reserves are in the south.
The central government denies having any discriminatory policy.
(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari in Sanaa and Mohammed Mukhashaf
in Aden; writing by Rania El Gamal in Dubai; editing by Sami
Aboudi and Jane Baird)