Al Qaeda suspected of Yemen pipeline blast

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Al Qaeda suspected of Yemen pipeline blast

Al Qaeda suspected of Yemen pipeline blast
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Suspected al Qaeda militants have blown up an oil pipeline in Yemen.

Officials said a timing device detonated the bomb in Shabwa province in the south of the country, an area where Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has strongholds.

The pipeline carries crude oil to an export terminal on the Arabian Sea.

It is not known how much damage has been done.

It is also not known whether the blast was linked to the start of the trial in Yemen of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical preacher wanted by Washington over the failed bombing of a US-bound plane in 2009.

The trial started in his absence as he is still at large.

An alleged accomplice is in the dock. Hisham Mohammed Assem is accused of killing the French employee of an Austrian gas company last month.

Prosecutors say he has admitted al-Awlaki incited him to kill westerners.

Assem denies the charges and claims he has been tortured.

Yemen has been under pressure to crack down on militants especially after last week’s failed bomb plot involving US-bound parcels.