A crude oil pipeline was blown up in Yemen on Tuesday, after the deputy governor of Yemen’s Marib province and five of his bodyguards were killed in an airstrike on an al—Qaeda member, tribal sources said.

Jabir al—Shabwani was killed after his car was hit by a missile late Monday as it stopped at a farm housing the al—Qaeda operative Mohammed Saeed bin Jaradan in Marib, 190 kilometres north—east of Sana’a, the sources said.

“Calm has been restored to Marib city,” Ahmed bin Zabaa, member of a panel formed on Tuesday to investigate the airstrike, told the German Press Agency dpa.

He confirmed that members of the Abida tribe, to which al—Shabwani belonged, blew up the main pipeline that carries crude oil from Safir to the Ras Eissa port on the Red Sea.

Witnesses said that 15 people were injured in clashes between the tribe and security forces in Marib, which erupted overnight.

Bin Zabaa said that members of the tribe were very angry and attacked police centres in and outside of Marib city, the provincial capital.

He added that locals blamed a US drone that has been flying in their area for several months now for the airstrike.

Al—Shabwani, who is also the brother of the leading al—Qaeda figure Ayidh al—Shabwani, was on a mission to negotiate the surrender of bin Jaradan when the plane struck the farm, sources said.

Yemen has stepped up operations against al—Qaeda since December, after the Yemen—based group al—Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula claimed responsibility for the failed plot to blow up a US passenger jet as it prepared to land on Christmas Day in Detroit, Michigan.

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