The governor’s private photographer was accused in the plot and arrested with others

Hadhramout security officials say they foiled an assassination attempt on the governor

Security officials in Hadhramout governorate say they foiled an attempted assassination on Gov. Faraj Al-Bahsani, who is also the commander of the Second Military Region. 

The head of Hadhramout’s Specialized Criminal Prosecutor’s office, Raed Mahfouz Laradhi, said his team is collecting evidence gathered by security agencies regarding the formation of a gang that intended to assassinate Al-Bahsani. 

"A number of people accused of forming this gang have been arrested and are being investigated," Laradhi said in a statement. He said that an initial investigation indicated the involvement of another, unidentified group in the plot. 

Laradhi’s announcement comes on the heels of rumors in Hadhramout over the past week that a number of employees in the governor’s office, including his private photographer Abdullah Bakir, had been arrested. 

The spokesman for the Second Military Region, Hisham Al-Jabri, said in a post on his Facebook page that Bakir, who is also a soldier, was arrested on charges of violating military law.

The Second Military Region, based in Hadhramout’s capital Mukalla, covers the coastal areas of Hadhramout and neighboring Al-Mahra governorate

Several figures in Hadhramout have hinted at or accused the Southern Transitional Council (STC) of organizing the assassination attempt. 

“We were trying to get closer with the STC and its leaders and unite despite our great differences with them,” said Mahrous Bin Majshar Al-Obathani, who identified himself as an adviser to the president of the Inclusive Hadhramout Conference, the largest tribal alliance in the governorate.

“But after we discover that they were behind the plot and the attempt to assassinate Faraj Al-Bahsani and supported by some countries, all agreements between us and them and all the covenants are revoked.”

A source close to the governor, who asked not to be named, said several officers and academics affiliated with the STC have been arrested and investigated on charges of masterminding a coup in the headquarters of the Second Military Region and plotting to install a new governor.

The STC has not acknowledged the accusations or issued any statements on the arrests.

In recent months, a number of security leaders in Hadhramout have been assassinated. The most recent victim was the security chief for the governorate’s northern Shibam district, Saleh Bin Ali Jaber, whose truck was blown up by an explosive device in late May.

In mid-May, Gov. Al-Bahsani said authorities would not allow any armed groups to operate outside of official military and security institutions, a pointed statement directed at the STC following their announcement of self-administration on April 25. 

"Legal measures will be taken against those who work outside the state's military and security institutions," Al-Bahsani said in an audio message addressed to the people of Hadhramout.


Edited by Ahlam Mohsen and Casey Coombs



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