Suicide Bomber Targets Yemeni Defense Minister

Posted September 27th, 2011 at 3:56 pm (UTC-5)
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Yemeni security officials say a suicide bomber has attacked a convoy carrying Defense Minister Mohammad Nasser Ahmed in the southern port city of Aden.

The officials said Tuesday's blast wounded at least 10 people traveling in the motorcade, but the defense minister was not hurt.

This incident marks the second time in a month that the defense minister has narrowly escaped an attack. In August, a bomb exploded near his convoy as he traveled in Abyan province.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for Tuesday's bombing. However, Yemeni troops have been battling al-Qaida-linked militants in the south for months as political unrest also grips the country.

At the U.N. General Assembly Tuesday, Yemen's foreign minister blamed the turmoil on the opposition movement's refusal to accept the 2006 presidential election results. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi said President Ali Abdullah Saleh is committed to democracy and to pushing forward an initiative by the Gulf Cooperation Council to transfer power.

The long-stalled plan calls for President Saleh to hand over power to a deputy.

Protests in Yemen against the embattled president have escalated over the past two weeks, with clashes leaving more than 100 people dead.