| Xinhua | 2013-2-11 11:59:24
A prominent leader of pro- government militiamen escaped an assassination in Yemen's southern province of Abyan on Sunday, a security official told Xinhua.
The two-car convoy carrying Madah Awadh, a prominent commander of the anti-Qaida militiamen in Abyan province, was struck by a roadside bomb, leaving at least two of his bodyguards injured, the local security official said on condition of anonymity.
"It was clearly a roadside bombing masterminded by terrorists, but it failed to assassinate the prominent commander of the anti- Qaida militiamen in Abyan," the security official said.
"His own car was not hit and he is safe, but two of his bodyguards were wounded by shrapnel," he added.
There was no claim of responsibility for the bombing attempt, but most suspicions pointed to al-Qaida terrorist group, according to local officials.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida branch, known locally as Ansar al- Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), took advantage of Yemen's political upheaval in 2011 to take over several towns of the restive southern regions.
The militants were routed months ago out of the strongholds they had controlled for nearly a year, when the Yemeni security authorities launched a U.S.-backed offensive in Abyan.
The Yemeni government, along with the United States and oil- rich Saudi Arabia, have beefed up anti-terror operation since Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi took office in February 2012.
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