Gunmen kill security officer in south Yemen

Two masked gunmen killed a securityofficer and his bodyguard in southern Yemen late on Friday inwhat a security official said was a suspected al Qaeda attack.

Colonel Mohammed Abdullah al-Habashy, security adviser inthe southeastern Hadramout province, was at a restaurant withhis bodyguard in the city of Sayoun when gunmen on a motorcycleopened fire, the security official and witnesses said.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack. But the official said he suspected that al Qaeda militants were behindit because of its similarity with the killing of two officers inthe province days earlier.

Yemen's US-backed government is grappling with multiplesecurity and political problems, including threats from apowerful branch of al Qaeda, a secessionist movement in thesouth and Shi'ite Muslim Houthi rebels in the north.

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