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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 20 November 2018

Deputy intelligence chief killed as gunmen strike again in Aden

Col Adham Al Ga'ari also led pro-government militias in Abyan province.
Pro-government fighters gather in Yemen's Shabwa province ahead of an offensive against Al Qaeda-held southern towns, including some seized recently in Abyan province. EPA / February 22, 2016
Pro-government fighters gather in Yemen's Shabwa province ahead of an offensive against Al Qaeda-held southern towns, including some seized recently in Abyan province. EPA / February 22, 2016

Aden // Gunmen killed Aden’s deputy chief of intelligence on Friday in the latest assassination targeting high-ranking officials in Yemen’s southern port city.

Col Adham Mohammed Al Ga’ari, 40, who was also the leader of the Popular Committees civilian militia in neighbouring Abyan province, died on the spot in the attack near his home in Khour Maksar district at 2pm.

“The armed men shot Al Ga’ari from a car using an American gun” before fleeing, a source in Aden’s security services said.

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Two of Al Ga’ari’s three sons were in the car with him when he was killed but were unharmed. The older son, 12-year-old Mohammed, described the attack.

“Every weekend my brother and I went out with my father for a picnic. When we were not far from the house three masked men in a car blocked our way. Then my father stopped the car and asked us to lie down,” Mohammed said.

“My father asked us to lie down, but we were scared and didn’t do it. Then we heard the sound of the bullets, I was crying “Dad, Dad”, and my younger brother was crying in the seat behind. Then I opened my eyes and I saw the blood coming out of my father’s head and chest.”

Mohammed said he and his brother Khalid tried to talk to their father and then hugged him, but their father was dead.

He began weeping as he spoke and was taken to hospital by a relative who said he was in shock.

Al Ga’ari took part in the military operation that was launched in 2011 to drive the Yemen-based branch of Al Qaeda – Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula – out of Abyan.

Abyan residents formed the Popular Committees in the same year and helped army clear the province of Al Qaeda fighters in the beginning of 2012. The Yemeni government then brought the fighters of the Popular Committees under the defence ministry and pays them salaries.

Al Ga’ari’s cousin, Mohammed Saleh Al Ga’ari, said his family would search out the killers.

A number of officials have been killed in Aden since its liberation last June by pro-government forces and the Saudi-led coalition seeking to restore Yemen’s internationally recognised government, which was forced to flee the capital Sanaa by Houthi rebels and has set up a temporary seat in the city.

On Monday, Gen Abdrabu Hussein Al Israeli, the commander of military forces in Abyan province, and the deputy of Aden’s political security, Ga’abal Alawi Amras, were killed when gunmen attacked their car in Aden.

foreign.desk@thenational.ae