Yemen's president sacks heads of intelligence agencies

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-9-12 10:33:39

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi on Tuesday sacked heads of the national security agency and military intelligence, few hours after two suicide car bombs targeted the country's defense minister in the capital Sanaa that killed at least 12 people.

The move was included in a partial cabinet reshuffle, according to a presidential decree carried out by the state Saba news agency late Tuesday.

Hadi fired the head of the National Security Agency, Ali Mohammed al-Anisi, replacing him with Ali Hassan al-Ahmadi. He also sacked the head of Military Intelligence, Mujahid Ali Ghuthaim, replacing him with Ahmed Muhsin al-Yafiee.

Besides, the president appointed Hisham Sharaf Abdullah as Minister of Higher Education and Research, and Ahmed Abdullah Daris as Minister of the Oil and Mineral Resources.

Hadi also named new governors of the provinces of Sanaa, Amran, Shabwa, al-Jouf and al-Bayda.

The move was highly hailed by the opposition-led national unity government and political activists.

The reshuffle came few hours after two suicide car bombs hit the motorcade of the defense minister in front of the Prime Minister's office in central Sanaa. The minister survived the attack, but 12 others, including seven of his bodyguards were killed.

The terrorist attack was the fourth of its kind in less than three months by the militants of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) after the minister was targeted twice in the southern port city of Aden and once in the southern province of Abyan.

The attack has raised public anger against Al Qaeda group and people asked the Yemeni president and his government to adopt more strict security measures to prevent further attacks in major cities.

The attack came a day after the defense ministry announced that its forces killed the second-in-command Al Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula, Saeed Ali al-Shihri, in a military raid in the southeast province of Hadramout on Monday.

Hadi took office in February this year after year-long street protests forced former President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down as part of an UN-backed power transfer deal in return for immunity from prosecution.

Hadi has vowed to launch more reforms in the army to end divisions that threatened to split the impoverished Arab country and focus efforts on combating the Yemen-based Al Qaeda resurgent militancy.

On April 6, Hadi issued a republican decree to replace about 20 military generals, including several members of Saleh's relatives and loyalists, in a move that paved the way for more reforms in the army institutions.

The ongoing reforms in the army aimed at paving the way for a national dialogue planned for November to settle disputes among political parties.

The impoverished Arab country had been gripped by the year-long political upheaval since the eruption of mass anti-government protests in January 2011.

The AQAP has taken advantage of the security vacuum during last year's unrest to expand its control over several cities in the south before a US-backed offensive three months ago routed the militants out of their strongholds and recaptured the cities.

Posted in: Mid-East

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