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No Arrests In Shooting At Group Including N. Yemen Government Opponent

November 28, 1988

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) _ A longtime opponent of North Yemen’s U.S.-backed military government said shots fired at him and three friends outside a restaurant here represented an assassination attempt.

″I know that’s true. I’m against the military dictatorship in North Yemen and I’ve always stood for freedom and democracy. I have received death threats,″ Ibrahim Alwazir said Sunday, adding that past attempts have been made on his life.

″The government spends a lot of money on terrorist attacks and they always follow people who are in opposition to the government.″

Police said they were looking for two men who were driving a black Cadillac, but they couldn’t determine the reason for Saturday night’s attack.

″No motives have been established. We’re still interviewing witnesses,″ said Police Lt. Ray Wysocki.

North Yemen, a country of about 5.9 million in the southwestern Arabian peninsula, is a U.S. ally. Its southern neighbor, South Yemen, has a pro- Soviet government.

Telephone calls to the North Yemen Embassy in Washington were unanswered Sunday.

Gunfire from a passing car missed Alwazir but a companion, Naji Isa, 30, was shot in the left leg. He remained in serious but stable condition at Oakwood Hospital early today, a nursing supervisor said.

James Heckelman, who was near the restaurant shortly before the shooting, said a man drove past and scrutinized him.

″He said to a man with him, ’He’s not the one,‴ Heckelman said. Minutes later, Heckelman said, he saw the man start shooting.

Alwazir, 56, was entering the restaurant for an informal meeting during his three-day visit to the Detroit area from his home in Washington. Dearborn is home to many in the area’s large Arab community.

The gunmen ″were spraying bullets all over the place. There were not competent. A lot of the bullets went into the wall. They were very scared,″ said Abdul Galil Ahmed, one of Alwazir’s three companions.

Alwazir said his father and an uncle were executed in 1948 for espousing democracy in their Middle Eastern country. He said he escaped from the country in 1954 and has lobbied for democracy in North Yemen since then.

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