Friday, July 2, 2010

Yemeni intelligence officer shot, second in Abyan province in a month

Motorcycle gunmen shot dead a senior Yemeni intelligence officer on Thursday outside his home in the southern province Abyan, where armed secessionists and al Qaeda militants are active, police sources said. The officer had been relaxing outside his home in the provincial capital Zinjibar after lunch. He was the second security officer gunned down in Abyan in less than a month. "Two men on a motorcycle opened fire on Colonel Saleh Amtheib as he sat near his house in Zinjibar, " one of the sources said. The officer had worked on al Qaeda and secessionist issues. Police were combing the area for suspects but had no immediate word on a motive.
Yemen has been a growing security concern for the West since a Yemen-based regional arm of al Qaeda claimed responsibility for an unsuccessful attempt to bomb a U.S.-bound plane in December. Yemen has stepped up security measures after accusing al Qaeda's wing in the Arabian Peninsula country of an attack on June 19 in which militants raided the police intelligence building in the southern city of Aden, killing 11 people.
Yemen also is struggling to curb a separatist movement in the south and cement a ceasefire with Shi'ite rebels in the north. It is under international pressure to quell domestic conflicts to focus on a growing al Qaeda presence in the impoverished country.

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