Adel al-Asbahi, the provincial security head of al-Bayda,
said on the Defence Ministry website that armed men opened fire
on Hussein Dayyan as he was leaving his home. Provincial
officials said they fled on motorbikes.
The officials said they believe the assailants were militants
linked to al Qaeda, and that security forces were hunting for
Yemen has been hit by turmoil since pro-democracy protests in
2011 forced president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 33
years in office. Authorities have since struggled to rein in
rival political factions and tribes, southern separatists and
Al Qaeda militants have stepped up their attacks against local
security and government officials in recent months.
Restoring stability to Yemen is a global concern. The
impoverished country of 25 million people shares a long border
with Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter.
Al-Bayda has suffered security incidents in the past. In
December, 15 people on their way to a wedding were killed by an
air strike after their party was apparently mistaken for an al
Qaeda convoy, according to local officials.
The Yemeni government said in a statement at the time that
senior al Qaeda militants were targeted in the air strike.
The statement did not say who carried out the air attack. The
U.S. military targets Islamist militants in Yemen with drone
strikes, but does not comment on the practice.
(Reporting by Mohamed Ghobari; writing by Yara Bayoumy;
by Sami Aboudi and Alison Williams)
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