Sanaa, Dec 29 (IANS) A senior Yemeni military intelligence officer was killed Monday in the country’s southern province of al-Bayda in a drive-by shooting, witnesses and police said.
“The unknown attackers shot the officer, Nasser Wahishy, several times as he drove his car along the street in central al-Bayda province and they escaped from the scene,” police officer Naji Ali told Xinhua.
“The motive of the attack is not yet established, but the attackers are apparently members of the Al Qaeda terrorist group,” the officer said.
Witnesses said the masked assailants were driving a car without number plates.
On Sunday, one soldier was seriously injured in the blast of an improvised explosive device planted in the car of the commander of the 31st Armoured Brigade in the port city of Aden, according to Yemen’s official Saba news agency.
The agency said that the commander escaped unharmed.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack but militants of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda branch are active in al-Bayda province and often attack government forces and installations.
Yemeni military officials have blamed gunmen of the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country’s southern regions.
AQAP, which emerged in January 2009 and is also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, is considered one of the greatest threats to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.