Unidentified assailants opened fire on the Yemeni information minister's car in Sanaa on Tuesday in a failed assassination attempt, an aide said.

Ali al-Amrani's secretary, Abdel-Basset al-Qaedi, said the vehicle was riddled with bullets fired as the minister was leaving government headquarters after a weekly cabinet meeting, but the minister was not hurt.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the attack. Police launched an investigation.

Amrani quit President Ali Abdullah Saleh's ruling General Peoples Congress (GPC) party following the outbreak of popular protests demanding that Saleh end his 33 years in office, and joined his opponents.

He was appointed information minister in a coalition government between the opposition and the GPC after Saleh signed a deal transferring power to his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in a move aimed at pulling the country from the brink of civil war.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Giles Elgood)