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Yemeni Defense Chief Survives Another Assassination Attempt

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SANAA, Yemen) -- Yemen's defense minister escaped what appeared to be another attempt on his life Tuesday when a car bomb exploded in the capital city of Sanaa, killing at least 12 people.

Witnesses said that the explosion occurred alongside a convoy of vehicles used by Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed.

The Yemeni official was not harmed in the powerful blast that left seven of his bodyguards dead and killed five civilians.

There have been at least three other assassination attempts on Ahmed over the past year, including one targeting a military parade in Sanaa last May that killed nearly 100 soldiers and wounded 200 others.

While no one claimed responsibility for Tuesday's car bombing, suspicion immediately fell on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which lost its second-in-command, according to Yemeni authorities, during a U.S.-led drone strike in Yemen last week.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio