Power-line attack plunges Yemen into darkness

Assault on lines linking Sanaa with al-Qaeda stronghold Marib trips national grid, cutting off power to all provinces.

    Power-line attack plunges Yemen into darkness
    Yemen has suffered repeated power outages in recent months [Reuters]

    Yemen remains in a state of total darkness a day after a series of attacks on power lines left the country without electricity.

    The country's energy ministry reported power lines linking the capital, Sanaa, with the al-Qaeda stronghold of Marib were attacked on Tuesday, leaving the entire nation of 23 million people without power.

    "The act of sabotage at Kilometre 78 suspended the entire national power and energy grid, including at Marib's gas plant, and cut power in all provinces," a ministry spokesman told the defence ministry news website.

    According to state news agency Saba, power lines in Marib had come under attack twice.

    Technical teams were attempting to fix the lines after the first assault, but gunmen sabotaged them a second time and prevented technicians from fixing them again.

    Attacks on power lines in Yemen are common and are often launched by heavily armed tribesmen as a lever to press for the release of jailed relatives or to support other demands.

    The country has suffered repeated power outages in recent months, with the absence of reliable electricity supplies further complicating the lives of Yemenis, who already suffer water and food shortages.

    Residents in Sanaa have complained of severe fuel shortages for weeks, with motorists having to queue for hours at petrol stations.

    Yemen is the Arab world's most impoverished nation and has been suffering from a decade-long al-Qaeda insurgency, as well as tribal and sectarian conflicts.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    The War in October: What Happened in 1973?

    Al Jazeera examines three weeks of war from which both Arabs and Israelis claimed to emerge victorious.