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Car explodes in Yemen, kills British shipping surveyor

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 00:43

July 20 - Yemen is investigating a car bombing that killed a British shipping surveyor, after he returned from inspecting a tanker that had been attacked by pirates. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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(PLEASE NOTE: VIDEO QUALITY AS INCOMING) STORY: A blast in a booby-trapped car killed a British shipping surveyor in Yemen's southern port city of Aden on Wednesday (July 20). A security source told Reuters he believed militants were behind the blast that killed the long-time resident of Aden, who was in his 60s, when he started his car. The source described it as "some kind of terrorist attack", because the victim, an independent surveyor for a marine and insurance company in Yemen, was well known. A Western shipping source based in Aden said the Briton had just returned from surveying a tanker attacked in July by pirates off Yemen's coast. Attacks on foreigners are rare in the port city, which lies east of a strategic shipping lane through which some 3 million barrels of oil pass daily. Witnesses said the man's car exploded as soon as he turned on the engine, shattering windows in nearby buildings on Aden's Mualla Plaza. Video of the immediate aftermath shows the vehicle engulfed in flames. One passer-by was critically wounded in the blast, which also damaged nearby buildings, a municipal official said. She said there was no clue as to who was behind the explosion. A spokesman from Britain's Foreign Office confirmed the death of a British national in the Aden blast, and said the British embassy in Sanaa had been in contact with Yemeni officials, who were investigating the explosion. Aden has been relatively quiet in recent months, even as mass protests demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh drag into a sixth month, with sporadic bursts of violence. The neighbouring Abyan province has been plunged into daily bloodshed since Islamist militants seized the city of Jaar in March and the provincial capital of Zinjibar in May. The army, which says the militants are part of al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing, launched an offensive to retake Zinjibar five days ago but has yet to regain the city. Security was tightened around Aden several weeks ago to try to prevent more militants from slipping into the strategic port city. Some 54,000 Abyan residents have sought refuge in Aden.

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Car explodes in Yemen, kills British shipping surveyor

Wednesday, July 20, 2011 - 00:43