World Bulletin / News Desk
Nine people, including two Yemeni army soldiers, were killed on Saturday in clashes between army forces and Shiite Houthi militants in the northern Amran province, security and local sources said.
Seven Houthi militants were killed in hours-long battles between the two sides near al-Sabr land crossing in northern Amran, the sources said.
The violence broke out when Houthi militants tried to enter Amran aboard vehicles on which heavy and light weapons were mounted.
Houthi militants controlled some areas in Amran two months ago following battles with local tribes.
There are fears that Houthis can make headways into the Yemeni capital Sanaa.
The Shiite movement appeared in 1992 and made the northern Saada province its base.
Six rounds of fighting between the members of the movement and the Yemeni army left thousands people dead on both sides.
Pipeline blown up
Yemeni tribesmen bombed Yemen's main crude export pipeline on Saturday, forcing oil flows to be stopped, industry sources told Reuters.
Yemen's oil and gas pipelines have repeatedly been sabotaged by insurgents or angry tribesmen since anti-government protests created a power vacuum in 2011, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings for the impoverished country.
Its main export pipeline carries around 70,000-110,000 bpd of Marib light crude an export terminal on the Red Sea.
"The pipeline was attacked by tribesmen. The damage is quite big and oil flow as stopped," said an industry source, declining to be identified.
A long closure in 2011 forced Yemen's largest refinery at Aden to shut, leaving the small producer dependent on fuel donations from Saudi Arabia and imports.
The demands of the tribesmen were not known, but in the past they have wanted relatives to be released from prisons or to protest against their unemployment.
Yemen's stability is a priority for the United States and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to top oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes, and because it is home to one of the most active wings of al Qaeda.Last Mod: 22 Mart 2014, 16:36