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Officials: Yemeni PM Escapes Assassination Attempt

  • Reuters

Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa attends ceremony at Central Security Forces, Sanaa, Yemen, July 1, 2012 file photo.

Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa attends ceremony at Central Security Forces, Sanaa, Yemen, July 1, 2012 file photo.

Gunmen opened fire on the motorcade of Yemen's prime minister on Saturday, but Salem Basindwa escaped unhurt, an aide said.

Ali al-Sarari, an adviser to Basindwa, said the attack happened in the evening in Sanaa while Basindwa was returning home from his office.

Sarari said Basindwa's guards identified the license plates of the car used in the attack and security forces were trying to track it down after the assailants fled the scene.

U.S. allied Yemen is grappling with a host of challenges, foremost of which an al Qaeda threat, as it tries to restore state control over the country after months of turmoil in 2011 that saw long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

Basindwa was appointed prime minister after Saleh quit under a Gulf brokered power transfer deal that saw his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, take his place.

Home to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered one of the most aggressive branches of the global militant organization, Yemen shares a long border with Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally and the world's top oil exporter.

The U.S. government supports Yemeni forces with funds and logistical support.
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