x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Motorcycle assassins kill intelligence officer in south Yemen

Two men on a motorcycle fire on Shaker Al Bani near his house in the southern city of Ghayl ba Wazir in Hadramout province, killing him instantly.

ADEN, YEMEN // Masked men shot dead a military intelligence officer in southern Yemen yesterday, the latest in a series of killings targeting security officials.

Two men on a motorcycle fired on Shaker Al Bani near his house in the southern city of Ghayl ba Wazir in Hadramout province, killing him instantly.

No one claimed responsibility for the killing, but a security source in the province said he suspected that Al Qaeda militants, who are battling the government, were behind the attack.

There have been a number of killings of security officials and politicians since Yemen's army drove Islamist fighters out of several southern towns this year with help from the United States.

Last week, Colonel Ahmed Barmadah, deputy head of the Political Security Office, the domestic intelligence service, was shot dead in Hadramout.

Washington is worried that Al Qaeda, entrenched in parts of Yemen, will use a power vacuum to launch attacks abroad, and has stepped up drone strikes on suspected militants with the backing of the Yemeni president, Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

Militant groups seized parts of the country during a revolt last year that removed Ali Abdullah Saleh as president in February. The US-backed military offensive has driven them back but has not prevented attacks that have dealt serious blows to the army and security apparatus.