[QODLink]
Middle East
Yemeni defence minister escapes mine blast
Two killed and four wounded as minister's convoy drives over mine in southern Abyan region.
Last Modified: 30 Aug 2011 19:33
Defence Minister General Mohammed Nasser Ali is a loyal ally of President Ali Abdullah Saleh [Reuters] 

Yemen's defence minister has narrowly escaped death after his convoy drove over a landmine in the country's volatile south region of Abyan.

General Mohammed Nasser Ali was driving in a convoy on Tuesday when "two soldiers were killed and four others were wounded in an explosion of a device near the village of Al-Kud," a government official told the  Reuters news agency.

Ali "escaped unhurt," said the official, adding the two men who were killed were bodyguards of the south's military commander, General Mehdi Maqwala, who had been accompanying Ali.

"We have reports that al-Qaeda has planted 150 explosive devices in areas it controls, and the explosion today could be due to one of these devices," the official added.

The minister was on his way to an end of Ramadan inspection of brigades in Abyan, whose capital Zinjibar has been occupied by al-Qaeda linked fighters since the end of May.

On Monday suspected al-Qaeda gunmen killed 10 Yemeni soldiers and wounded several others at Dofes village, near Zinjibar.

In the latest clashes in the area on Tuesday, military shelling killed "six al-Qaeda fighters," whose bodies were taken to hospital in the village of Jaar, according to a local official.

Since the end of May, fighters linked to al-Qaeda have seized control of several Abyan towns, taking advantage of the weakening of central authority amid nationwide protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Ali is a staunch supporter of Saleh, who has been recovering in Saudi Arabia for more than two months from bomb blast wounds.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.