Yemen minister escapes assassination bid: Govt source

AFP , Tuesday 31 Jan 2012

Unidentified gunmen attack Yemen's newly-appointed information minister in failed assassination bid, says govt source

Yemen's newly appointed Information Minister Ali Ahmed Al-Amrani escaped an assassination attempt on Tuesday as he was leaving government headquarters in Sanaa, a government official told AFP.

"Three bullets targeted Al-Amrani's car as he left the government headquarters following a cabinet meeting," the official told AFP, requesting anonymity.

The minister, a member of the opposition named to the post in December as part of a deal that will see President Ali Abdullah Saleh officially step down on 21 February, was unhurt.

Al-Amrani was a member of Saleh's General People's Congress who joined the opposition along with several other party members last March in protest over a deadly crackdown on anti-regime protests by the president's loyalists.

The attack is the first on government officials since a unity government was formed on 7 December under a Gulf-brokered power-transfer deal that gave an equal number of seats to the GPC and the opposition.

Saleh is in the United States for medical treatment after being seriously wounded in a bombing at the presidential palace in Sanaa in June.

In November, after ten months of bloody protests, he signed a deal by which he transferred constitutional powers to his deputy, Abdrabuh Mandur Hadi, who will be the sole candidate in next month's presidential polls.

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