In brief: Bomb kills 13, misses targeted official
Sanaa, Yemen – Yemen’s defense minister narrowly escaped assassination Tuesday when a powerful car bomb ripped through his motorcade as it traveled in the nation’s capital, killing at least 13 people in an attack that bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida.
The bombing came a day after Yemeni authorities announced the killing of the No. 2 leader of the network’s Yemeni branch – the terror group’s most active – in an apparent U.S. airstrike.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the midmorning blast in Sanaa, but al-Qaida’s Yemeni branch is believed to be behind at least five other failed assassination attempts against the minister, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed.
Prime minister promises tax cuts
Ramallah, West Bank – The Palestinian Authority’s prime minister announced a package of subsidies and tax cuts on Tuesday in an effort to quell protests against the high cost of living in the West Bank and the government’s failure to pay full salaries to civil servants.
Salam Fayyad has been the target of several days of demonstrations in the Palestinian territory, where many residents blame him for their financial woes.
After the latest demonstration Tuesday, Fayyad announced that he would cancel a series of price hikes in fuel and cooking gas. He told a news conference he also plans to lower a sales tax and said he would fund the subsidies by cutting the salaries of government ministers and other top officials.