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Yemen Pipeline Blast Spills Oil

Yemeni tribesmen have blasted a hole in a pipeline ...

Yemeni tribesmen have blasted a hole in a pipeline operated by the U.S. Hunt Oil Co., spilling 10,000 barrels of oil and sparking battles between tribesmen and security forces, company officials and tribal elders said Saturday.

The attack happened Thursday. Technicians from the Dallas-based company finished repairs by Friday afternoon, a Hunt official told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Soon after the attack, fighting broke out between security forces who where attempting to secure the area for repair work and armed members of the Abeeda tribe, tribal elders told AP.

Eleven people were killed or injured in the fighting, the elders said.

Government forces secured the area soon after the explosion, but fighting nearby continued through Saturday, the elders said.

It was the second attack in a month on the pipeline, which has been a target of disgruntled tribesmen trying to force the government to improve local services in exchange for leaving the foreign investors alone.

A senior government official, Ali Muhammad Saleh, was negotiating with Abeeda elders for the delivery of those responsible for the bombing, an official in the Marib province said on condition of anonymity.

The pipeline carries oil from the Safer field in Marib province 100 miles northeast of San'a, the capital, to the Ras Isa port on the Red Sea.

Hunt's oil field in the Marib province produces 165,000 barrels per day. The company employs 1,300 Yemenis in addition to 30 foreign workers.