Three people were killed on Sunday in clashes between the Yemeni army and armed tribal saboteurs who were trying to prevent engineers from repairing to an oil pipeline in the central province of Marib, provincial officials said.
A motar shell hit a residence in Sarwah area in Marib province, killing a mother and her two children, during the clashes that erupted after the tribesmen prevented engineers from reaching the damaged section of the pipeline that was blown up last Thursday, said the provincial officials.
The soldiers who were accompanying the engineers clashed with the tribal fighters and then withdrew from the area. Heavy weapons were used during the clashes, the officials said.
The pipeline was blown up one day after the government announced the fuel price hike in a bid to reduce its budget deficit. In 2013, the Yemeni government spent about three billion U.S. dollars on fuel subsidies.
Angry protesters set tires on fire and blocked the roads in the capital Sanaa after the announcement on July 30.
The Arab country has suffered severe fuel shortage since May when fuel supplies were available only in a few stations in major cities.
Oil pipelines are frequently attacked in Yemen by tribesmen who intend to press the government to meet their demands.
The country's government, which depends on oil exports for up to 70 percent of its budget, has bolstered security measures to protect the pipelines and prevent further attacks.