Yemen foils refinery attacks; five dead

Cops killed four suicide car bombers and foiled attacks on two oil installations in Yemen, Arab television stations reported.

india Updated: Sep 15, 2006 17:28 IST

Four bombers and a security guard were killed on Friday, when Yemeni security forces foiled twin suicide bombings against oil installations, five days before the impoverished Arab nation goes to the polls.

The bombers, in explosives-laden cars, tried to attack an oil refinery in Maarib, a lawless tribal area in the desert east of the capital Sanaa, and a Canadian-run terminal in the Southeastern port of Dhabba on the Gulf of Aden.

"The two attempts, at around 5:30 am local time (0800 hours IST), were foiled by the forces in charge of security at oil installations and the Yemeni army," a security official said.

"In Maarib, the two booby-trapped cars exploded before reaching their target after coming under fire from security forces and soldiers. The two assailants were killed," he said.

At the Dhabba oil terminal, operated by Canadian company Nexen Inc, the bombers' two cars also exploded outside the site and the attackers were killed, along with a guard who was hit by gunfire, the official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility and the source said an investigation had been launched to try to find out who planned the attacks.

He did not rule out the possibility that they could have been aimed at hampering the September 20 elections, and also suggested there could be a link with the kidnapping Sunday of four French tourists in the lawless southeast of the country.

The Frenchmen were abducted by tribesmen in a bid to put pressure on authorities to free jailed members of their tribe and negotiations have so far failed to secure their release.

First Published: Sep 15, 2006 12:57 IST