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.