Mohammed Ahmad, Yemeni Defense Minister, was not harmed by a car bomb blast outside the cabinet office in Sanaa the capital. However, 12 people were killed including several of the ministers' bodyguards.
The blast happened shortly after the announcement by Yemeni officials that the second in command of AQAM (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) had been killed. Saeed al-Shihri was killed along with at least five other militants. A Yemeni news report said:
"The Saudi terrorist Saeed al-Shihri, the second man in al-Qaeda, was killed in a quality operation by the armed forces in Hadramawt," Actually the quality operation no doubt involved missile strikes courtesy of the U.S. probably by drones according to senior Yemeni military officials' The U.S. refuses to report on these strikes for the most part although they have made exceptions for high profile targets such as Anwar Al-Awlaki.
Islamic militants have been driven from most of the areas they occupied from the summer of 2011 until driven out a few months ago by Yemeni forces with U.S. supervision and help. However, the militants are fighting back with constant attacks on the Yemeni military and allies of the government. The latest blast is just one of a series.
At least seven bodyguards and five civilians were killed and 14 other people were wounded by this latest attack. Police sealed off the area as ambulances rushed to the blast scene. There are several government departments as well as the security headquarters in the area. The defense minister is leading the war against Al Qaeda in Yemen. The chief editor of the Yemen Post said:"There are certain sides who could be behind this attack.
One is al-Qaeda, because the defence minister is responsible for the war against al-Qaeda. Secondly, those who are against President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi , because [Ahmad] is his closest aide." At the same time as the car bomb explosion there were two other explosions in the capital but there is no word yet if any casualties resulted from them.
This is not the first attack targeting the defense minister. In May AQAP claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Sanaa that killed almost 100 soldiers and said the target was Ahmad and that the attack was in retaliation for army attacks in AQAP controlled territory.