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Attackers blow up gas and oil pipelines in Yemen

Ahmed Al-Haj, Associated Press

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- An explosion struck a gas pipeline Tuesday in southern Yemen, temporarily halting the flow of gas although exports were not affected, a government official said.

An oil ministry official said the Liquefied Natural Gas Co. pipeline was sabotaged but did not specify by whom. He said repair work was under way.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to reporters.

The bombing in Yemen's Shabwa province comes on the heels of a late Monday attack on an oil pipeline nearby, which security officials said halted the flow of 8,000 barrels pumped there.

Government oil officials estimate the repeated pipeline attacks have cost the country $2.5 billion, and previously have blamed al-Qaida for the damage.

A statement by the gas company said nobody was hurt in Tuesday's explosion. Yemen LNG Co. was created in 1995 — the country's first natural gas liquefaction consortium. Its major shareholders include French oil company Total SA and Dallas-based Hunt Oil Co. It also is backed with Asian, U.S. and Yemeni government funding.

LNG provides a tiny percentage of the abundant natural gas supplies in the U.S.