Last updated: 5 May, 2014

Gunmen kill Yemen security forces commander in capital

Two gunmen on a motorbike shot dead a commander of Yemen’s security forces in Sanaa on Monday, a military official said, adding the attack bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda.

Military police commander Mohammed Guawza was shot four times while walking down a street in the centre of the capital, the source told AFP.

The attackers managed to escape, said the official, blaming Al-Qaeda which has multiplied attacks against army officers and police across the country.

An AFP photographer at the scene said a crowd gathered in the street around the body of a man covered in a blanket, his red beret resting by his side.

Also in Sanaa, a bomb planted in a trash container exploded near a market, slightly wounding three passers-by, police said.

The attacks come on the seventh day of an army offensive aimed at clearing Al-Qaeda strongholds in the country’s south from the jihadists.

On Sunday, the army announced that it had killed 40 Al-Qaeda suspects, mainly foreigners, and wounded dozens of others as part of the southern operation.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has been linked to a number of failed terror plots against the United States, and its leader Nasser al-Wuhayshi recently vowed in a video to attack Western “crusaders” wherever they are.

The jihadists took advantage of a 2011 uprising that forced veteran strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh from power to seize large swathes of southern and eastern Yemen.