Qassem Aqlan, who headed a security team at the US embassy in Yemen, was shot dead by militants in the country's capital Sanaa on Thursday, Reuters reported. The killing had the “fingerprints of Al-Qaeda,” a source said. The attack resembled previous attempts by local Al-Qaeda cells targeting security officials and politicians.
Masked attackers on motorbikes shot at Qassem Aqlan’s car as he drove to work on busy Sittin Street early on Thursday. The attackers fled the scene after killing Aqlan.
The embassy’s chief of security coordinated a US and Yemeni probe into the assault on the embassy. Last month, angry protesters attacked the embassy after the anti-Islamic video ‘Innocence of Muslims’ triggered a wave of violent demonstration across the Muslim world.
Al-Qaeda was driven out of Yemen last year, in part through US drone strikes against militants in the country’s southern provinces.
Militants in Yemen have frequently targeted forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who succeeded Ali Abdullah Saleh in February. Washington backs the new Yemeni government with arms, recon data and drones in its struggle against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The latest attack on government forces in Yemen occurred on Wednesday when militants fired rockets and automatic weapons at a security checkpoint in the southern city of al-Dalea, wounding two law enforcement officers. The attackers fled the scene.
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