Gulf | Yemen

Weapons found in biscuit boxes in Yemen

The arms were destined to harm the security and stability, ministry says

  • AFP
  • Published: 11:57 November 4, 2012
  • Gulf News

Sana’a: A cargo of weapons originating in Turkey has been seized by Yemeni authorities in the southern port of Aden, the defence ministry Internet website 26sep.net reported.

Citing security sources, the report said the arms had been found in boxes used for biscuits, in a container dispatched from Turkey.

An investigation has been opened into the discovery of weapons “destined to harm the security and stability” of Yemen, the ministry said, without identifying either the sender or intended recipient of the cargo.

The impoverished southern Arabian Peninsula nation is already awash with weapons.

It is prey to attacks in the east and south blamed on Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, that have become more frequent in the wake of the 2011 popular uprising that forced out veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Meanwhile, the country’s oil minister said a gas pipeline feeding Yemen’s only liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal will take around a week to be repaired following an attack on it last week.

The 320 kilometre gas pipeline that links block 18 to the Belhaf terminal on the Gulf of Aden was attacked on October 31.

Technical teams were immediately sent to repair the damage, and believe the work can be finished in about a week, state news agency Saba quoted oil and minerals minister Ahmad Dares as saying late on Saturday.

“The government is working to take a series of measures to secure the oil installations and to prevent any future acts or risk,” said Dares. He did not elaborate on the new steps.

Yemen’s oil and gas pipelines have been sabotaged repeatedly since anti-government protests last year created a power vacuum which armed groups exploited, causing fuel shortages and slashing export earnings in the impoverished country.

The 38-inch pipeline supplying the $4.5-billion (Dh16,528 billion) plant has been attacked several times by suspected Al Qaida-linked gunmen after military strikes on Islamist militants.

The Balhaf facility, which opened in 2009, has the capacity to supply up to 6.7 million tonnes and delivers LNG, gas-cooled to liquid for export by ship, under long-term contracts to GDF Suez, Total and Korea Gas Corp.

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