Yemeni minister survives assassination attempt

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 25, 2012 10:49 AM
Yemeni minister survives assassination attempt

ADEN (Reuters) - Yemen's Transport Minister Waed Abdullah Bathib survived an assassination attempt on Saturday when shots were fired at his car, a local government official said.

Nobody was hurt in the attack in the southern city of Aden, but Bathib's car was pockmarked by bullets, the official told Reuters.

He said that the shots were fired from another car. It was not clear who was behind the attack in the Khormaksar district of the city or how many gunmen were involved.

Bathib is a member of the Yemen Socialist Party, the former ruling party of South Yemen, of which Aden was the capital, before its unification with the north in 1990.

The Middle East's poorest country, where guns outnumber people by a ratio of three to one, is grappling with an insurgency by al Qaeda sympathisers in the south and a conflict in the north with the militant Houthi group of Zaydi Shi'ite Muslims.

It also faces a southern separatist movement aimed at establishing a new state of south Yemen with Aden as the capital.

Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled in north Yemen since 1978, was forced from power early this year after a year-long popular uprising that caused splits in the military and divided the country's powerful tribes.

(Reporting By Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Rosalind Russell)