Masked gunmen shot dead a Yemeni man on his way to work at the US embassy in Sanaa on Thursday, a security source said, the latest in a wave of assassinations in the Arab state where Washington is battling al-Qaida militants.

The attackers on a motorcycle opened fire on a car carrying Qassem Aqlan - who headed an embassy security team - in the center of Yemen's capital, the source told Reuters.

"This (assassination) operation has the fingerprints of al-Qaida which carried out similar operations before," said the source who asked not to be named.

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