By Majdi Ba Ziad, NY Hadramout Correspondent
Gunmen in south Yemen shot dead a colonel in the country’s intelligence service on Friday, a security official said, blaming the attack on Al-Qaeda.
The official said two masked men on a motorcycle opened fire on Colonel Mohammed Abdel Aziz Bou Abess near his home in the Al-Ghalilah neighbourhood, West of Mukalla city in the southeast province of Hadramawt province before making their escape.
The attack bore the hallmarks of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the official said on condition of anonymity.
On Tuesday a commander said Yemeni troops are fighting a guerrilla war against Al-Qaeda in southern towns in which they are struggling to come to terms with the hit-and-run tactics of the enemy.
“We are engaged in what amounts to a guerrilla war with Al-Qaeda in the streets and neighbourhoods,” the deputy head of security in the Abyan province town of Mudia, Colonel Mohammed al-Khodr, told AFP.
On Wednesday, Yemen issued a wanted list for two Al-Qaeda suspects that offered a cash reward of 50,000 dollars (36,000 euros) to anyone providing information leading to their capture.
The interior ministry in Sanaa said Ahmed Abdel Aziz Jasser al-Jasser and Turki Mohammad Quleiss al-Shahrani were “among the most dangerous Al-Qaeda operatives to have committed acts of terrorism and sabotage” and posted pictures of them on its website.
It is worth noting that another political security officer, Abdul Aziz Ba Sharaheel was also assassinated in a similar fashion in the Fooh district, East of Mukalla, three weeks prior.
The authorities in Yemen, the ancestral home of Al-Qaeda supremo Osama bin Laden, have been battling a resurgence by the jihadist network, which has claimed attacks on embassies, oil installations, foreigners working in the oil sector and tourists.
The militants are active in eastern Yemen and in the south, where they have taken advantage of a growing secessionist movement and popular opposition to the central government.