Sana’a: Masked gunmen shot dead an anti-terrorism official south of Sana’a on Wednesday, a security source said, the latest in a series of assassinations as the US-allied government battles Al Qaida militants.
Ali Al Yamani was shot by two motorcycle gunmen in Damar province where he was leading counter-terrorism efforts, the source said, adding the gunmen who fled were suspected of being linked to Al Qaida.
Another assassination attempt on the mayor of Sana’a, Abdul Qader Ali Hilal failed earlier on Thursday, the official Saba news agency reported.
Hilal was inspecting preparations for the Muslim festivities of Eid when a man on a motorbike attempted to shoot him, the agency said citing a security source.
The gunman and the driver of the motorbike were both captured and Hilal escaped unharmed, the agency said.
There have been a number of assassinations and attempted assassinations on security officials and politicians following the removal of Islamist militants from towns in Abyan province in south Yemen. The militants took control during an uprising that threw President Ali Abdullah Saleh from office in February.
Saleh’s successor Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi has cooperated with Washington in an effort to crush the militants, including stepped up air strikes using US unmanned planes or drones.
Restoring stability to Yemen is an international priority due to fears that Al Qaida and other Islamist militants may become entrenched in a country which neighbours oil producer Saudi Arabia and is close to major shipping lanes.