Fire near sabotaged Yemen oil pipeline kills 13
At least 13 people were killed in a fire that broke out near an oil pipeline damaged by sabotage in the west of war-torn Yemen, a government official said Saturday.
“Dozens of people had gathered at the site of the pipeline with bowls and other containers to fill with petrol spilling from the pipeline” in Hodeidah on the Red Sea, the official in Yemen’s recognised government said.
He said the fire broke out because of the use of an electricity generator, leaving 13 dead and 26 others with burns, while eight people remain missing.
Yemeni government forces are preparing for an assault on the nearby port of Hodeidah held by Houthi rebels.
Fighters aligned to President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the government's Arab allies are building up around Hodeidah, despite UN calls for a de-escalation in tensions around the town.
Two armoured brigades are positioned for the assault, which could see pro-government forces move further up the coast after recent victories in other ports such as Mokka.
Hodeidah is a key goal for the Gulf-backed forces, being the entry point for 70 percent of Yemen's food and humanitarian supplies.
More than 7,700 people — most of them civilians — have been killed in fighting between Houthi rebels and the Yemeni government backed by a coalition since March 2015, according to the United Nations.
Agencies contributed to this report.