Six injured as blaze spreads after ‘sabotage’ blast at Aden refinery

Fire engulfs an oil storage tank at the Aden oil refinery following an explosion in Aden, (Reuters)
Updated 13 January 2019
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Six injured as blaze spreads after ‘sabotage’ blast at Aden refinery

  • Civil defense crews battle to stop fire taking hold in fuel storage tank complex

JEDDAH: Six people were injured on Saturday when a fire caused by an explosion in a storage tank at the main oil refinery in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden spread to a second tank.

The cause of the blast late on Friday is still unknown, but security officials described it as sabotage.

The fire, which also spread to a nearby pipeline, was “the result of an explosion, probably a deliberate act of sabotage,” one said.

“The fire brigade are working to contain the blaze and stop it spreading to the neighboring storage tanks, which are full of oil and diesel” donated by Saudi Arabia, he said.

Another official said security forces had prevented anyone from leaving the site and opened an investigation into the incident. Early indications suggested “an explosion and an act of sabotage” were to blame, he also said.

Aden is under the control of the internationally recognized government, which is backed by the Saudi-led coalition. 

It took up residence there after Iran-backed Houthi militias ousted it from the capital, Sanaa, in 2014. Aden’s refinery was damaged the following year in fighting that put it out of operation for more than a year, causing severe fuel shortages and power cuts.

Farther north on Saturday, there were clashes between Houthi and government forces in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, placing more pressure on a fragile UN-brokered truce.

Artillery and machinegun exchanges broke out in the southern part of Hodeidah in early morning before tapering off later in day.

The UN says the cease-fire has largely held since it came into force on Dec. 18 but there have been delays in the agreed pullback of Houthi and government forces.


Arab Parliament calls on UN and Arab League to classify Houthis as a terrorist group

Updated 20 min 43 sec ago
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Arab Parliament calls on UN and Arab League to classify Houthis as a terrorist group

  • The Parliament will vote on the draft resolution before submitting it to the UN and Arab League
  • The spokesperson called the Houthi attacks a war crime

DUBAI: The Arab Parliament revealed on Wednesday they are in the process of submitting a draft resolution, calling on the United Nations and Arab League to take a firm and immediate stance to classify the Iranian-backed Houthi militia as a terrorist group, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported.

The Parliament will vote on the draft resolution before presenting it to the secretary general of the UN and the Arab League’s secretary general, Meshaal bin Fahm Al-Sulami, spokesperson of the Arab Parliament, said.

The Parliament will not condone any group targeting civilian areas, such as Houthi attacks in neighboring countries like Saudi, he said.

These attacks are a war crime, Al-Sulami said.

He also mentioned that Houthi militias are threatening Yemeni MPs for attending Parliament sessions.

The announcement came during a press conference, as the latest session of the Parliament, headed by Al-Sulamai and in the presence of the speaker of the Yemeni Parliament, Sultan Al-Burkani, kicked off.

The Parliament’s session will focus on the current crises, challenges and developments in Arab countries, and will discuss the efforts of the Parliament to support joint Arab action against the dangers and threats facing the Arab national security.