Yemeni president sacks trade minister

President Ali Abdullah Saleh sacked his industry and trade minister on Saturday, 10 days after the oil minister was suspended, Yemen's official Saba news agency reported.

Saleh issued a decree appointing Hisham Sharaf Abdullah, who served as deputy minister of planning and international cooperation, to replace Yehia al-Mutawakkel. No reason was given for the dismissal.

The president also named Mathar Abdulaziz Al Abbasi in place of Abdullah as deputy minister.

On January 12, Saleh suspended his oil minister and the national oil company head over a fuel shortage which forced people to queue at petrol stations, the defence ministry's website said.

Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, faces daunting security challenges including a growing threat from Al-Qaeda, a sporadic revolt by Zaidi Shiites in the north, and a separatist movement in the south.

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