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Yemen's main oil export pipeline shut after bombings

By Mohammed Ghobari

SANAA (Reuters) - Flows through Yemen's main oil export pipeline were stopped after the line was blown up in two places on Sunday night, the state news agency and local government sources said.

The SABA news agency said the pipeline was attacked in two spots in the Wadi Abidah region of western Yemen.

"Unknown assailants blew up the pipeline that carries crude oil to the main export terminal in the Red Sea in the middle of Sunday night, in the Damashka area of Wadi Abidah," a source in the area told Reuters.

The 270-mile long Maarib pipeline used to carry around 110,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Marib light crude to the Ras Isa export terminal on the Red Sea coast until a spate of attacks in 2011 and 2012.

SABA did not identify the attackers but Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have been repeatedly sabotaged by Islamist militants and disgruntled tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011.

A long closure of the line last year forced the country's largest refinery at Aden to shut, leaving the small producer dependent on fuel donations from Saudi Arabia and imports.

The Maarib oil pipeline was last blown up in September but Yemen's main gas export line was blown up again only last week.

(Writing by Daniel Fineren; editing by Andrew Torchia and James Jukwey)

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