Story highlights

Attacker killed by his own grenade, security officials say

The man was trying to disrupt Yemen's upcoming election, the officials say

Voting is scheduled for February 21

The only candidate is the current vice president

Sanaa, Yemen CNN  — 

A man attempting to attack a voting center in the southern town of Crater died Tuesday when the grenade he was handling blew up in his hands, Yemeni security officials said.

The unidentified assailant was the only one harmed in the attack, which appeared to be an effort to derail the country’s upcoming presidential voting, according to three security officials who could not be named because they are not authorized to speak to the media.

Residents in Crater told CNN that the man had been asking people for directions to the voting center in the hour prior to the attack.

The incident, which remains under investigation, prompted authorities to raise security alerts and put up checkpoints on main roads in Aden.

Voting to replace President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s longtime ruler, begins February 21 under terms of a power transfer deal signed by Saleh after months of violent unrest seeking his ouster.

Vice President Abdurabu Mansur Hadi is the only candidate. Although the power transfer deal has already handed him executive authority, he insisted on standing for election to make his presidency official.

Efforts to disrupt the election will be useless, vowed Khaled al-Qadhi, the head of operations at the Supreme Committee for Elections and Referendum. More than 80,000 security officers will be posted at some 32,000 polling places, he said.

“The elections are the demands of the people and security forces will be distributed near every voting station,” al-Qadhi said.