Yemeni navy officer survives assassination attempt

Sanaa, March 5: A high-ranking officer of the Yemeni navy forces escaped an assassination attempt in the southeastern province of Shabwa Tuesday evening, a security official said.

“The motorcade of Admiral Qasim Laboza, commander of the Second Armored Brigade in Shabwa, was attacked as he passed through an area near the Belhaf port on the Gulf of Aden, leaving two dead and one seriously wounded from his entourage,” Xinhua quoted the official as saying.

“Laboza, who was not injured, commands the joint army forces tasked with protecting gas and oil facilities in Shabwa,” he added.

An intelligence source too confirmed the failed assassination bid, saying that “the attack is under investigation and the navy admiral is receiving medical treatment in a hospital in Shabwa”.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Militants of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda offshoot were blamed by the country’s government for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country’s southern regions.

The Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

IANS