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Yemeni defense minister escapes assassination bid

SANA, Yemen — A suicide attacker driving an explosives-laden car blew himself up Tuesday next to the passing convoy of Yemen's defense minister, who escaped the attack unharmed, security officials and witnesses said.

The assailant detonated his car as Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed's convoy passed by on the coastal highway in the southern city of Aden, witnesses said. The ministry confirmed the attack and said in a statement that Ahmed, who survived another attempt on his life last month that killed two of his bodyguards, was unharmed.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but Yemen's military has been battling al-Qaida-linked militants who have taken advantage of the country's political turmoil to seize control of towns and swaths of territory in the south. Fierce fighting has not shaken the militants' hold on the area.

Yemen has been rocked by nearly daily mass protests demanding the ouster of longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, plunging the impoverished nation into deep political crisis.

Election dates in Egypt: Egypt's first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak will begin on Nov. 28, the country's military rulers said Tuesday in an announcement. The elections will be staggered over several months, with the vote for the legislative People's Assembly starting Nov. 28 and the less powerful Shura Council, the legislature's upper house, on Jan. 29. The first session for the People's Assembly will be held on March 17. The Shura Council will convene on March 24.

Yemeni defense minister escapes assassination bid 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 10:20pm]
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