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Sanaa police chief 'escapes assassination'

A Yemeni police chief in the capital narrowly escaped an assassination attempt as explosives planted in his car blew up after he exited the vehicle

AFP , Wednesday 4 Jul 2012
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Views: 572

A Yemeni police chief in the capital narrowly escaped an assassination attempt on Wednesday as explosives planted in his car blew up just minutes after he exited the vehicle, he told AFP.

Saleh al-Mustafa, police chief for Sanaa's western Mathbah neighbourhood, said he suspects Al-Qaeda militants were behind the attack.

"Thank God I wasn't there (in the car) or I would have been a victim just like our colleague," said Mustafa, referring to the assassination of intelligence officer Mohammed al-Qudami who was killed by a car bomb on Monday.

"Of course, this (type of attack) bears the hallmark of Al-Qaeda," he said, adding that the militants were "targeting security officials across the board."

According to Mustafa, Al-Qaeda militants "have a presence" in Sanaa's Mathbah neighbourhood and security forces have "been trailing them ... but they targeted us before we were able to capture them."

On Monday, Qudami was killed when a bomb strapped under the driver's seat of his car exploded.

He died in hospital from wounds sustained in the blast which according to a security official took place "just a few metres from President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi's house" in the capital.

No group has claimed responsibility for either bombing, but the defence ministry late Tuesday announced it had made an arrest for Qudami's assassination.

In a statement on their 26 September website, the ministry said the suspect was arrested after being found wearing "black glasses mounted with a video camera that filmed the assassination of the officer."

Last month, Yemeni troops recaptured a string of Al-Qaeda strongholds across the troubled south and east of the country where the militants had seized control last year.

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