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(CNN) -- Yemen's defense minister survived an apparent assassination attempt Tuesday when a car bomb exploded near a building he was leaving, the state-run Saba news agency said.
Eight of the minister's guards were killed when the bomb exploded in the center of Yemen's capital, Sanaa, state TV reported.
The blast happened outside the prime minister's office as Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed was leaving, authorities said.
The bombing comes one day after Yemeni forces said they killed Said al-Shihri, second in command of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
If DNA testing confirms his death, it "would be a deeply significant blow against AQAP," CNN terrorism analyst Paul Cruickshank said.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast.
White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan in April described AQAP as "very, very dangerous" and "the most active operational franchise" of al Qaeda.