Chief of Yemen's special security forces Fadhal Baash survived an assassination attempt on Monday when a car bomb targeted his convoy in the country's turbulent southern province of Abyan, a government official said.
The "terror" attack took place in the provincial capital of Zinjibar as Baash's convoy was returning to the southern port city of Aden from a work trip, the local government official said on condition of anonymity.
He confirmed that at least six bodyguards were injured in the bombing, some critically, but the commander himself escaped unharmed.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but authorities suspect al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has previously targeted the Yemeni army and government officials in similar bombing and shooting attacks.
Baash was appointed by the Saudi-backed Yemeni government as commander of the elite Special Forces, overseeing the operations targeting AQAP strongholds in Abyan and other southern provinces.
The bombing comes amid instability and violence in war-ravaged Yemen after years of civil war between the country's government and the Houthi militia.
AQAP and other extremist elements who remain active, particularly across central and southern regions of the country, have taken advantage of the chaos to seize territory and carry out attacks on security forces and government institutions.
Yemen has been embroiled in a devastating civil war since 2014, with the Houthis fighting against the internationally-recognized Yemeni government. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in the conflict in support of the Yemeni government in 2015.
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