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Yemen: National Dialogue Conference under way as violence escalates - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Yemen's President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks during the opening session of the second national dialogue conference in the Yemeni capital, Sana'a on June 8, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/ MOHAMMED HUWAIS)

Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi speaks during the opening session of the second national dialogue conference in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on June 8, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED HUWAIS)

Sana’a, Asharq Al-Awsat—Yemeni president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi chaired a meeting with the members of the National Dialogue Committee on Wednesday, amid continuing violence in different parts of the country.

The meeting discussed some of the issues reported to the committee, which is in charge of settling any differences that arise in the National Dialogue Conference.

“All political and national forces are at stake and facing a historic test and an opportunity that is also very significant in the modern history of Yemen,” Hadi said.

The Yemeni president urged all political players to seize the “historic and rare opportunity” the national dialogue offers the country.

The National Dialogue Conference, due to last until September 18, will focus on the future structure of the government and the new constitution, among other issues.

Pressure continues to build up on the leaders of Yemen as violence escalates across the country.

A Yemeni official was assassinated by unknown assailants in Al-Bayda governorate on Wednesday.

Sources in the province said unknown gunmen opened fire on the deputy director of Shaheed Al-Awady Hospital.

Meanwhile, an explosion shook the Yemeni town of Lawdar, killing and injuring dozens of civilians.

The assassination happened less than 24 hours after at least four people were killed in a blast that hit a local market in the Rada district.

In separate news, initial investigations into the blast that struck a Yemeni air force bus in Sana’a last week revealed that a bomb was planted in the vehicle the night before.

The next day, a car followed the bus and detonated the bomb by remote control.

Air force spokesman Col Mahdi Al-Aidarous told the Associated Press that 24 soldiers and officers were on the bus.

Yemeni authorities ordered four of the injured be treated abroad due to their critical condition.

Some of the injured had their limbs amputated in the military hospital in Sana’a.

Hadhramaut sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that unidentified militants who are thought to be linked with Al-Qaeda kidnapped Al-Mukalla’s Chief Prosecutor on Thursday.