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14:54, 02 March 2012 Friday

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Blast hits anti-U.S. protest in northern Yemen

A bomb blast hit an anti-U.S. protest in northern Yemen on Friday, injuring at least 22 people, a rebel group that controls much of the north of the country said.

 

A bomb blast hit an anti-U.S. protest in northern Yemen on Friday, injuring at least 22 people, a rebel group that controls much of the north of the country said.

In a statement, the leader of the Houthi movement - Shi'ite rebels that Yemen's military tried to crush in campaigns in 2004-2009 - said the bombing took place in the province of Saada, on Yemen's northwestern border with Saudi Arabia.

It did not say who it believed carried out the attack.

The conflict with the Houthis is one of several facing Yemen's new president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, as he tries to implement a power transfer backed by Riyadh and Washington.

The transition plan is aimed at averting civil war among an army divided between foes and allies of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Mass protests against him last year were coupled with fighting between pro- and anti-Saleh units. Saleh eventually became the fourth veteran Arab leader unseated by "Arab Spring" protests.

The transition plan calls for Hadi and an interim government made up of Saleh's party and opposition blocs to lead Yemen to elections and write a new constitution within two years.

The plan did not include the Houthis, who have held talks with the U.N. envoy attempting to implement the deal aimed at bringing them into a political process.



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