Yemen's defense minister narrowly survives deadly car bomb attack: reports


Yemeni Defence Minister General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed (C), who escaped an assassination attempt claimed by the Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, oversees a military operation against in the southern Abyan province, on June 10, 2012.


Gamal Noman

A bombing targeting Yemen's defense minister today killed at least 12 people, according to officials cited by Reuters, violence that comes a day after reports of the death of major Al Qaeda leader in the country's east. 

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The minister, Major General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad, was not hurt in the explosion in central Sanaa, said Reuters

The blast hit the minister's three cars as the group drove through the city, said the Associated Press, killing seven of Ahmad's bodyguards and five civilians, Reuters cited the interior ministry as saying. 

Local officials told Al Jazeera 14 people were injured in the attack, which was reportedly the work of a car bomb. 

On Monday, Said al-Shihri, believed to be the second in command of the powerful Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula group, was reported killed by government forces in Yemen last week.

Ahmad's defense ministry is currently working on providing DNA evidence to confirm his death, said CNN

Yemen has launched intensive military operations in the south in a bid to oust militants from the region, where they had moved in after security caved there due to demonstrations against former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.