Last updated: 28 December, 2014

Yemen general escapes deadly al Qaeda blast

A Yemeni general escaped unscathed on Sunday in a bombing that killed his driver in the southern city of Aden, one of his bodyguards told AFP.

“General Farej al-Atiqi, commander of the 31st armoured battalion, was unhurt when a device that had been hidden in his car exploded,” the man said.

But the blast in the Khor Maksar district of the port city killed Atiqi’s driver and wounded two other bodyguards, he added, and blamed Al-Qaeda for the attack.

The bomb was detonated by remote control, the bodyguard said.

Members of the security forces in Yemen are often the targets of attacks blamed on Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which the United States regards as the deadliest branch of the global extremist network.

AQAP has exploited the weakened central authorities in Yemen since the 2012 departure of president Ali Abdullah Saleh following a year-long popular uprising.

The jihadist group’s presence is strongest in the south and southeast of the impoverished country, but it has also launched attacks in the capital itself.