Yemen Defense Minister Survives Suicide Attack

September 27, 2011 Updated: September 27, 2011


Yemen’s defense minister has survived an assassination attempt that happened while he was traveling in a military convoy in the south of the country, according to media reports.

A suicide bomber attacked Mohammed Nasser Ali’s convoy in the city of Aden where security forces have struggled for months with al-Qaeda affiliates. At least three soldiers were killed and nine injured, the BBC reported.

This is the second time in the last month Ali has been targeted by suicide bombers.

Officials said the assailant drove a car filled with explosives into Ali’s convoy, according to the report.

For the past six months, mass protests and clashes between security forces and opposition forces have gripped the capital, Sanaa.

But in the south, militants affiliated with al-Qaeda have taken advantage of security gaps and essentially taken over several cities. Government forces in recent days have stepped up their attacks on militants.

Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was recovering from injuries in Saudi Arabia, returned to Sanaa last week after spending more than three months out of the country. 

In a speech on Sunday, he said his Cabinet would speak to opposition leaders to work out a deal to hold elections as soon as possible.

As Reuters reports however, thousands of protesters again took to the streets of the capital city on Tuesday, demanding that Saleh resign immediately.

"These political negotiations are endless, they’re destroying our revolution," Abduqassim Nassiri, a protester, told Reuters. "We have to keep pushing, we have to change the regime and I think that is worth dying for."