High-ranking army commander assassinated in Yemen

January 5, 2015 5:19 am 

ADEN, Yemen, Jan. 4 — A high-ranking commander of the Yemeni army was assassinated by unknown gunmen in the southeastern province of Shabwa on Sunday, a government official told Xinhua.

"Unknown gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying General Hamoud al-Yafea, the commander of the 21st Armored Brigade, in Shabwa province, killing him at the scene," the local government official said on condition of anonymity.

Al-Yafea's body, hit by four bullets in the chest, was sent to a public hospital in Shabwa, according to medical sources.

No one has yet claimed responsibility for assassinating the general, but a local military source said the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch carried out the assassination.

The impoverished Arab country has been gripped by regional al-Qaida insurgency since 2009. The terrorist group, mainly based in southern and eastern provinces, has launched frequent suicide attacks on army and security targets, leaving hundreds of people dead.

The security situation worsened last September when the Shiite Houthi group controlled the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis, based in the northern Saada province, then started to enter the country's southern regions, but met strong resistance from the Sunni tribes and al-Qaida networks. (PNA/Xinhua)

CTB/RSM

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