Political Analysis

Yemen intelligence chief escapes assassination

Military commanders discuss the upcoming presidential election security plan

National Yemen

ADEN — The intelligence chief of Yemen’s main southern city of Aden has escaped an assassination bid by unidentified gunmen, a security official said on Wednesday.

‘Unknown gunmen opened fire on Aden’s intelligence chief, General Ghazi Ahmed Ali, as he was returning from work late on Tuesday, wounding two of his companions’ who were hospitalised, the official said.

It was the third such attempt to kill Ali.

In October, Al Qaeda claimed responsibility of one of the attempts in a statement issued from southeastern Shebwa province, one of its strongholds in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and its local affiliates, the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), have taken advantage of a year of deadly protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bolster their presence in Shebwa and nearby Marib.

Abyan province in the south has meanwhile been the main target of Al Qaeda’s growing strength, with militants seizing the provincial capital Zinjibar in May and several other towns since.

In a significant advance by the extremists towards the capital on Sunday, Al Qaeda militants swept into the town of Rada, 130 kilometres (80 miles) southeast of Sanaa, and overran it within hours.

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