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Yemeni defense minister survives blast in south Yemen

(Xinhua)

10:13, August 31, 2011

SANAA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Yemeni Defense Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed survived an assassination attempt on Tuesday in the restive southern province of Abyan, which killed three of his guards, local security official said.

At least three of the bodyguards were killed and several others injured when a blast hit General Nasser Ahmed's convey in the suburb of Zinjibar, the capital city of Abyan, the unnamed official told Xinhua.

Ahmed, who was inspecting the government forces in the area, survived the attack unharmed. Initial investigation showed that the blast was triggered by a suspected landmine or a bobby-trap, according to the official.

The Yemeni government troops, waging intensified battles and air strikes against al-Qaida militants in Abyan since May, regained on Monday the control of Dovis area, which was seized by al-Qaida militants about two weeks ago.

Abyan, some 480 km south of the capital Sanaa, has almost been overrun by al-Qaida since the group seized the provincial capital of Zinjibar along with other towns, including Jaar, Moudia and large parts of Dovis.

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