Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa has escaped an assassination attempt when unidentified gunmen opened fire on his motorcade in Sanaa, officials say.

The officials said no one was injured in the attack, which happened on Saturday evening while Basindwa was returning home after a cabinet meeting.

The prime minister's security chief told Al Jazeera that men in a car parked near Basindwa's house opened fire on the motorcade. Security guards returned fire, and the attackers fled the scene.

Security forces were pursuing the attackers after the shootout.

It was the first such attack to target the prime minister, who has headed a national unity government since December 2011.

Basindwa was a leading opposition figure under ousted President President Ali Abdullah Saleh. 

Several members of his government have also escaped assassination bids.

The impoverished Arabian Peninsula state has been rocked by deadly violence since Saleh's departure, particularly in the south and east of Yemen where al-Qaeda is active.

Source: Al Jazeera and agencies