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posted: 8/31/2013 3:26 PM

Yemen prime minister escapes assassination attempt

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Bloomberg News

Yemen's Prime Minister Mohamed Salem Basindwah escaped injury today when gunmen shot at his convoy in the capital of Sana'a, an adviser to the prime minister said.

Basindwah was returning from a meeting with political leaders when attackers fired at the vehicles, according to Rajeh Badi, an adviser to Basindwah. The attack occurred close to the prime minister's home, Badi said in a phone interview. The suspects escaped and were being pursued by police, Badi said.

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Yemen's government has fought al-Qaeda militants, whose threats prompted the U.S. State Department on Aug. 6 to reduce the number of personnel in the country.

The U.S. closed its mission in the country, along with those in 21 other countries, after intercepting a message from Ayman al-Zawahiri, Osama bin Laden's successor as al-Qaeda chief in Pakistan, to Nasir al-Wuhayshi, head of the organization's Yemeni branch.

The U.S. embassy in Yemen reopened to provide limited public services on Aug. 20. U.S. drones regularly target leaders and operatives of the Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda.

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