US drone attacks have Yemen on the brink

Attacks leave Yemen’s economy on edge of collapse
Article by: SUDARSAN RAGHAVAN , Washington Post

Against a backdrop of street protests and military clashes, the country is grappling with electricity blackouts, rising food prices, and fuel shortages so dire that ordinary Yemenis can spend days in lines for gasoline.

In March, tribesmen blew up the main pipeline in Marib Province, the birthplace of the Queen of Sheba and home to about half of Yemen’s oil reserves. The attack was carried out by a powerful tribal leader, Ali al-Shabwani, whose son was killed in a U.S. airstrike in May 2010.

The pipeline helps funnel crude to the nation’s main oil terminal in the southern port city of Aden for export and to be refined into gasoline. With Yemen bogged down in a popular uprising, the pipeline remains ruptured, with Shabwani and his heavily armed tribesmen refusing to allow the government access to the site until he gets justice for the airstrike.

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