Gunmen kill Yemeni who worked at U.S. embassy in Yemen

Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:13pm EDT
 
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By Mohammed Ghobari

SANAA (Reuters) - Masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man who worked in the security office of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa on Thursday, in an attack a Yemeni security source said appeared to be the work of al Qaeda.

The incident was the latest of a wave of attacks on officials in the impoverished Arab state, which is battling Islamist militants with Washington's help.

The attackers, on a motorcycle, opened fire on Qassem Aqlan - who headed an embassy security investigation team - near his house in the center of Yemen's capital, the source told Reuters.

"This operation has the fingerprints of al Qaeda which carried out similar operations before," said the source, who asked not to be named.

Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other militant groups strengthened their grip on parts of the country during an uprising that ousted veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh in February.

Washington, wary of the growing power of al Qaeda, has stepped up drone strikes on suspected militants, with the backing of Saleh's successor, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

A neighbor who identified himself only as Fahad said he had noticed strangers roaming the streets over the past three days, suggesting Aqlan was being watched before the attack.

"Once he (Aqlan) stepped out of his house the men shouted his name and when he replied, they shot him in the head and neck," he said.   Continued...