March 31, 2011 / 3:47 PM / 8 years ago

Yemeni tribe members attack electricity pylons, cut supply

SANAA, March 31 (Reuters) - Tribe members opposed to Yemen’s embattled president attacked electricity pylons in the central province of Maarib on Thursday, triggering power outages in parts of the capital, Sanaa, officials said.

The blackouts, lasting up to two hours, also hit the southern port of Aden and the Red Sea city of Hudeida.

Yemenis on Thursday commemorated dozens of people killed in weeks of street protests demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh to resign, as efforts continued to negotiate his exit from power within the next year. [ID:nLDE72U1HU]

Opponents complain that Yemen, under Saleh’s 32-year-old rule, has failed to meet the basic needs of the country’s 23 million people. Unemployment is around 35 percent and 50 percent for young people. Oil wealth is dwindling and water is running out.

A government official said tribes in the central province of Maarib had opened fire on electricity towers. One official accused tribe members “of the opposition party” of being the attacks. It was the second such incident in two weeks.

Liquefied natural gas producer Yemen LNG earlier told customers unrest could lead to supply disruptions, leading stakeholder Total said. [ID:nLDE72M17A]

Oil reserves and production lie mainly in Jannah and Iyad in the centre of the country, Marib-Jawf in the north, and Shabwa and Masila in the south.

For a factbox on Yemen’s energy industry, click on: [ID:nLDE72K0R8]

Reporting by Mohamed Sudam; Writing by Martina Fuchs; Editing by Nick Macfie

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