"We have sent warning messages to the ship in Qana port not to loot oil," Houthi Military Spokesman Yehya Sarea said in a statement broadcast by the Houthi-run al-Masirah TV.
A local security source at the Qana port said that the port was attacked by Houthi drones on Wednesday, injuring at least five workers and causing partial destruction to the facility.
The ship was waiting at the port for unloading imported oil derivatives to the local markets when the drone attack occurred. It had to leave the port without being able to unload its cargo.
Violent Explosions in Qena Oil Port, Southern Yemen -
https://t.co/qn9p4hGLHE Violent explosions rocked the Qena oil port in the Radhum district of Shabwa province, southern Yemen, on Wednesday. Sources said that the explosions were caused by drone attacks shortly after ... pic.twitter.com/nmnevimoPW
This was the Houthi group's second attempt in less than a month to conduct drone attacks against government-held ports. On Oct. 21, the Houthis used bomb-laden drones to attack Dhabah port, just hours before the arrival of an oil tanker that was scheduled to export oil from the war-torn country. No casualties were reported in that attack.
The escalation came after the government and the Houthi group failed to extend a national truce that expired on Oct. 2, raising concerns about the return of violent conflicts to the Arab country. The government said last week that it started to tighten up precautionary security measures around key production facilities and ports in some southern regions.
Yemen has been mired in a civil war since late 2014 when the Houthi stormed several northern cities and forced the Saudi-backed Yemeni government out of Sanaa. The war has killed tens of thousands of people, displaced 4 million, and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.