SANAA (AFP) – Police in Yemen were on Monday searching for a man suspected of trying to blow up an oil pipeline that carries crude to a Red Sea port, the interior ministry said.
A police patrol tasked with protecting the pipeline found a man installing a fuse cable “usually used in explosives” near the main road in Jihanah, around 30 kilometres (18 miles) east of the capital Sanaa, the ministry said on its website, without indicating when the incident took place.
The patrol exchanged fire with the man who was wounded but managed to escape, the ministry said, adding that a manhunt was under way.
The pipeline carries crude oil from the Safer oilfields in Marib province around 350 kilometres (220 miles) east of Sanaa to an export terminal at As-Salif on the Red Sea.
The same pipeline was the target of bombing in September 2008, with the authorities then arresting 10 tribesmen.
The motives behind the attempted bombing were not disclosed, but tribesmen in the impoverished country often resort to violence and abduct foreigners to express grievances or force the government to respond to their demands.
Al-Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, which is facing an intensified military campaign by the government, has in the past targeted oil installations.
Yemen produces less than 300,000 barrels of oil a day, more than half of which is exported.