Sana'a: Six Al Qaida militants were arrested on Tuesday in Yemen, a day after 12 Al Qaida members broke away from a prison in the southern port city of Aden, the state-run news agency, Saba, reported.

A leading figure in the terrorist group was among the detainees, the agency said.

"Security services, backed by the local people, arrested Musa'ad Mohammad Al Barbari, Mohammad Hussain Musaib, Mohammad Abdul Kader Ahmad Al Shihri, Nader Ahmad Mohammad Al Qubati, Mohammad Muthana Ali Al Amari and Abdul Munaim Hamad Abu Ganem,"a security source told the agency. 

According to Saba, the alleged terrorist cell was planning to target high profile officials, vital government installations and foreign diplomats in the country.

They also recruited young men to fight the army in Abyan and Shabwa.

Al Qaida links denied

Earlier on Tuesday the Yemen ministry of interior denied that the group of inmates who escaped from Aden prison on Monday morning were affiliated with Al Qaida.

An anonymous source at the ministry was quoted by the state news agency as saying that the escapees were waiting for trial on charges of crimes including theft and rape.

Three escaped prisoners out of the 15 were arrested immediately and security forces in the city set up a security committee to investigate the inciden, the source saidt.

Saudi oil assistance

Saudi Arabia has pledged to supply the fuel-thirsty Yemen with oil products to help the country meet the chronic shortage of fuel, Saba news agency reported.

During a telephone conversation with the Yemen's acting president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Saudi foreign minister Prince Saud Al Faisal expressed his country's readiness to assist Yemen in shaking off the effects of the crisis.

Saudi capital Riyadh hosted last month's signature ceremony of the GCC-brokered peace deal in which Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to hand over power to his deputy.

Since the beginning of crisis in February, Saudi Arabia and the UAE donated thousands of barrels of fuel to Yemen.

The Saudi aid would be a lifeline for Yemen as the country's oil supplies have been interrupted by attacks on the oil pipelines in the central province in Mareb.

A local official in the office of the ministry of oil in Mareb told Gulf News on Tuesday that oil supplies from the province's oil blocks are brought to a halt due to the attacks.

"The pipeline that brings oil to the export terminal in Hodeida was damaged and it is out of order since October."

The official, who preferred to remain anonymous, stated the attackers are usually local gunmen who target the pipelines to pressure the government to meet their demands.

"Whenever a person has a dispute with the government over a land, he digs the ground and detonates an oil pipeline.