Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Yemeni minister survives murder bid

January 31, 2012

Yemeni Information Minister Ali al-Amrani has survived an assassination attempt in the capital Sana'a, his secretary says.

Abdel Basset al-Qaedi said unidentified gunmen attacked the minister's car when he was leaving the government headquarters in Sana'a after the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday.

The assailants fled the scene immediately and the Yemeni minister was not hurt.

Yemeni police have launched an investigation into the incident.

Amrani quit the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) party, led by Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, and joined the opposition following the outbreak of the popular anti-regime uprising in Yemen last year.

The Yemeni dictator signed a deal brokered by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council on November 23, 2011, under which he agreed to transfer his powers to Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi and step down within 90 days in return for immunity from prosecution.

Hadi issued a decree on December 7, 2011, establishing a national unity government headed by Mohammed Basindwa, who was appointed as interim prime minister on November 27, 2011. Amrani was appointed information minister following the establishment of the coalition government.

The new cabinet posts are equally divided between the GPC and the opposition.

Saleh arrived in the United States on January 29 to receive “medical treatment” for injuries he sustained in an attack on the presidential palace in Sana'a in June 2011.

On January 21, Yemen's parliament approved a law that grants complete immunity from prosecution to Saleh for the crimes committed during his 33-year-long rule and only “political immunity” to anyone who had “worked with” him during his rule.

However, Yemeni anti-regime demonstrators reject the immunity law and hold Saleh responsible for the killing of hundreds of protesters during the popular uprising that began in late January 2011.

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