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An ongoing political crisis threatens to paralyze Yemen’s troubled energy sector, already dogged by years of attacks by militants at odds with the government.
Politically, Yemen is at a standstill. Nearly three months on from losing control of the capital to Houthi rebel militia, the government’s grip on security, and for the most part power, remains tenuous at best, with attacks on key political figures, residences and institutions fast becoming a regular occurrence.
The recent advance of the Houthis southward from the Zaidi Shi’a stronghold in the northern highlands has dramatically heightened tensions in the already volatile state, inciting clashes with government forces and Sunni tribal groups, backed by Al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – the local branch of the Sunni terror group and deemed by the US to be the Al-Qa’ida franchise with the greatest potential to carry out international attacks.
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