A Yemeni soldier stand on a hill overlooking Sanaa, on January 13, 2010
A Yemeni soldier stand on a hill overlooking Sanaa, on January 13, 2010 © Ahmad Gharabli - AFP/File
A Yemeni soldier stand on a hill overlooking Sanaa, on January 13, 2010
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AFP
Last updated: January 26, 2014

Al-Qaeda suspects kill police officer in Yemen

Unidentified gunmen suspected of belonging to Al-Qaeda shot dead on Sunday a Yemeni police officer in the southeastern province of Hadramawt, a security official said.

Two assailants on a motorbike opened fire at lieutenant colonel Omar al-Mahthuthi in the town of Hawra, as he returned home, the official told AFP.

Mahthuthi died on the spot and the attackers "who belong to Al-Qaeda," fled the scene, the official said.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been blamed for most of the increasingly common hit-and-run strikes targeting military personnel.

The group rarely claims responsibility for attacks, but did claim a brazen daylight assault on the defence ministry in Sanaa that killed 56 people on December 5.

AQAP took advantage of a decline in central government control during Yemen's 2011 uprising to seize large swathes of territory across the south.

The militants were driven back in June 2012 by a military offensive and the group has been further weakened by drone strikes.

AQAP is considered by Washington to be the most dangerous affiliate of the Al-Qaeda network.

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