Dissident Yemen general says Eid bombing foiled

AFP , Sunday 6 Nov 2011

Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar says he escaped a bomb plot near the headquarters of his First Armoured Division, making it the fourth attempt on his life since his defection from the Saleh regime in March

Dissident Yemeni general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar said on Sunday his forces have foiled a regime plot to blow up a bomb-laden car in Sanaa on the first day of the Muslim Eid al-Adha feast.

In a statement, Ahmar said a car loaded with two gas cylinders and 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of TNT had been discovered on Saturday near the headquarters of his First Armoured Division in the capital.

The payload was to have been detonated remotely by mobile phone.

A suspect, who was detained confessed to having been ordered by "senior" regime officials to blow up the car on Sunday morning during Eid al-Adha prayers to be attended by the general, said the statement.

The car bore licence plates of the United Arab Emirates, it said, adding it was the fourth attempt to assassinate Ahmar since he defected in March to back protesters demanding veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation.

Ahmar accused Saleh and his regime of being behind "such a hateful and irresponsible crime" and added he was determined to keep supporting the protesters "regardless of the price to be paid."

The dissident general's forces control northern and western districts of Sanaa, while President Saleh's troops hold sway over the rest of the Yemeni capital.

Saleh has for months refused to step down after 33 years in power, despite regional and international calls for him to do so.

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