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Attack on power lines leaves Yemen in total darkness



Yesterday morning, Yemenis awoke to a country without any electricity as a result of a suspected tribal attack on vital power lines in the central province of Marib the night before.

An official in Yemen's Electricity and Energy Ministry reported yesterday that the attack knocked out the country's national power grid entirely and left the Marib gas station in Bani al Jardan district out of service. The attack targeted power lines connecting Marib and Sana'a that are located in the Jaham district of Marib province.

The official clarified that the power lines in Marib were attacked twice on June 9. He said that shortly after technicians had begun repairing the damage from the first assault, the same militants returned and attacked once again, ultimately leading to the nationwide power outage.

While the country remained under the cover of darkness, the Yemeni military announced today that its forces have reopened the road connecting Sana'a to Marib in an operation that killed two militants and wounded six others. A military source told the Yemeni press that the military destroyed two vehicles used by the militants and seized two others that were equipped with mortars and medium-caliber weapons. The same source confirmed that technicians had begun work to repair the power lines.

In related news, tribal sources told the Arabic press today that the Yemeni Air Force launched an airstrike targeting a gathering of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters near Marib who were responsible for carrying out the June 9 attack on the power lines. These sources claim that casualties and injuries resulted from the strike but did not offer any specific details.



READER COMMENTS: "Attack on power lines leaves Yemen in total darkness"

Posted by reader at June 12, 2014 11:41 AM ET:

The NOISE of Western Generators will be Deafening.

Posted by Eric at June 15, 2014 1:13 PM ET:

Al Qaeda. Life in the Dark Ages. How long did you think it would be before they focused on infrastucture attacks?

Syria. Aleppo without water and electricity. Districts in Damascus, Homs, Hama, Deir Al Izzor deprived of food for weeks

Afghanistan. Kandahar and Jalalabad routinely deprived of cell phone signals.

Iraq. Salahuddin, Bayji power station under ISIS control, supplies 60% of Baghdad.

Yemen Marib, Power lines taken out. Hadramout. Oil pipilines taken out

Egypt Sinai. Gas Pipiline under fairly routine attack.

Al Qaeda is all about pulling the plug on the modern world.

This kind of thing is going to get more and more frequent. Resource infrastructure is the ideal soft target. It requires non-combatants to perform urgent repairs, providing an ideal ambush site, and known roads to target with checkpoints and IED's. It will be increasingly expensive to counter. This is the very doctrine which is being taught to foreign jihadists in Syria. It should raise hairs on the backs of necks in every country awaiting the return of their citizens from the Syrian war.

This is probably why jailer's laws will go into effect in so many countries, whereas a person returning from Syria goes straight to jail just for being there. Nothing constitutionally cool about that, but what other choice will there be after enough blackouts and shopping mall killing sprees have happened? I guess I will watch and see.