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Seven killed in clashes in eastern Yemen

Four soldiers and three others killed in clashes in the Maarib province.
Yemeni soldiers in the Maifaa region of the Shabwa province on 4 May (AFP).

Seven people, including four soldiers, were killed in clashes on Wednesday between army troops and local tribesmen in Yemen's eastern Maarib province, a security source has said.

"Four soldiers and three armed tribesmen were killed in clashes between the two sides," the source told Anadolu Agency.

According to the source, the clashes erupted after tribesmen prevented engineers from repairing an oil pipeline blown up last week.

There has been no comment from Yemeni authorities regarding Wednesday's clashes.

The Yemeni government says it sustained some $1.47 billion in losses last year as a result of attacks on oil pipelines.  

Revenue from crude oil exports cover around 70 percent of Yemen's government spending.

The southern Arabian country has been dogged by turmoil since pro-democracy protests in 2011 forced autocratic president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33 years in power.

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