U.S. Oil Company Helicopter Fired On in Yemen

A helicopter carrying employees of Hunt Oil Corporation came under small-arms fire Sunday just after takeoff, forcing an emergency landing at San'a airport. Two minor injuries were reported.

Two Hunt Corp. employees reported "minor scratches"' and received first aid on the scene, said Jim Oberwetter, a Hunt spokesman at the company's Dallas, Texas headquarters. Airport medical workers confirmed there were no serious injuries.

It was not clear who was responsible for the shooting. Police were searching the area around the airport from where shots were fired. A Yemeni security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the helicopter was heading to oil fields in the northern province of Marib when it was shot at from an area near the airport.

The number of passengers and their nationalities were not clear. The U.S. Embassy said it had no knowledge of the incident. Oberwetter said in a brief statement that the helicopter was contracted from Abu Dhabi Aviation to carry Hunt employees to the company's oilfields. It "was struck by small arms fire in the vicinity of the San'a airport today and safely returned to base,'' he said. Oberwetter said the Yemeni government was investigating.