Investigations by Yemen's top army committee have disclosed that five senior military officers were behind bombings on oil export pipelines since last year that deteriorated the country's economy, the Defence Ministry said on Thursday.
The charged officers are identified as "Colonel Jubran Ali al- Zaidy, Major Ali Wishash al-Zaidy, Lieutenant Abdullah Saleh Alhithal, Lieutenant Ali Saleh Alhithal and Lieutenant Colonel Abdul Khaliq al-Radamani," the ministry said in a statement on its website, citing the indictment by the country's high military committee.
The military committee, which was formed in accordance to a UN- backed power transfer deal and headed by President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, has been tasked to restore security to the war-torn country and reunite the army after one-year deadly unrest.
The committee's indictment showed that tribesmen who had been formally accused over the past months turned to be not involved in the bombings, and it also asked the security authorities to bring those five perpetrators to justice, the ministry said.
The new charges were disclosed two days after the government deployed three brigades to protect an engineer team which was repairing a crude export pipeline in the northeastern province of Marib due to threats alleged to be from local tribal militants.
For more than a year since the protests against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh erupted in January 2011, armed tribes and Islamic groups were accused of carrying out frequent attacks on crude export pipelines to force the government to meet their demands.
The repeated attacks have caused temporary halt of oil flow and stopped the country's only crude refinery in southern port city of Aden for more than a year, which forced the cash-stripped government to seek fuel aid from neighboring oil-rich countries to reduce the growing fuel shortage and appease its angry people.
Hadi, who replaced long-time Saleh in February this year in line with the UN-backed power transfer deal, said last week that his country has lost more than two billion U.S. dollars due to repeated attacks on the oil export pipelines.
The pipelines had been attacked nine times over the past 11 months, leading to reduction of output of 125,000 barrels per day at Ras Issa terminal on the Red Sea.
The Yemeni government depends on oil exports for up to 70 percent of its budget.
Copyright 2012 Xinhua News Agency
(Originally published July 5, 2012, by Xinhua General News Service.)