Yemen Socialist Party chief escapes assassin

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Monday, December 9, 2013

SANAA, Yemen -- The leader of Yemen's Socialist Party escaped an assassination attempt Sunday, security officials said, the third on him in recent months— as his group accused opponents of targeting him because of his efforts at national reconciliation.

The officials said an unknown attacker fired a gun fitted with a silencer at Yassin Said Noaman while he was driving his car in Sanaa on Sunday. The gunman missed Noaman, who is also deputy head of the country's National Dialogue Conference, but shattered the car's windows.

The officials said the gunman hid in the minaret of a mosque opposite Noaman's house. The identity of the attacker is still unknown, the officials said.

The Socialist Party, which ruled southern Yemen before it merged with the north in 1990, is one of the largest in parliament.

In a statement late Sunday, it said the targeting of Noaman "only serves the forces opposing national dialogue" that reject the party's vision.

A party official, Ali al-Sararri, said Noaman was saved because his vehicle was armored.

In Taiz, Yemen's second largest city, gunmen also killed Lt. col. Saddam Hussein al-Dahiri, chief security officer at the Taiz presidential palace, in a drive-by shooting at a gasoline station.

All officials spoke anonymously according to regulations.

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