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-Qaida.
Military police commander Mohammed Guawza was shot four times while walking down a street in the center of the capital, the source told Agence France Presse.
The attackers managed to escape, said the official, blaming al-Qaida 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-Qaida strongholds in the country’s south from the jihadists.
On Sunday, the army announced that it had killed 40 al-Qaida suspects, mainly foreigners, and wounded dozens of others as part of the southern operation.
Al-Qaida 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.