Security Official Killed in Southern Yemen, al-Qaida Blamed
    2012-02-10 03:32:14     Xinhua       Web Editor: Cui Chaoqun

A senior Yemeni security official was shot dead Thursday evening in Yemen's southern restive province of Lahj in an attack probably carried out by al-Qaida militants, a provincial police official told Xinhua.

"Major Alkadr al-Humaidy, head of the Criminal Investigation Department in al-Houta, the capital city of Lahj, was gunned down Thursday evening by motorcycle(-riding) gunmen when he was on his way home on the outskirts of the city," the official said on condition of anonymity.

"Initial investigations showed that the attack bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida militants," he said.

Several members of the state security and intelligence units in a number of southern provinces have been killed over the past few months in similar attacks that were probably carried out by the Yemen-based regional terrorist network, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The terrorist group has stepped up attacks on the government security personnel and seized several cities in the country's lawless southern regions, where the central government's control has been weakened by one-year protests against the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The continued attacks showed the country's fragile security situation just less than two weeks ahead of the presidential election that aimed at ending the months-long unrest.

Earlier this week, Yemen's acting President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi launched his advertising campaign as the sole presidential candidate for the Feb. 21 polls, under a UN-backed power transfer deal brokered by neighboring oil-rich Gulf countries to end months of protests.

In a meeting with foreign diplomats to Yemen on Wednesday, Hadi reaffirmed his government's position towards combating terrorism. "We will not negotiate or seek compromise with terrorist groups... and our battles will continue to eliminate them with all possible ways," he was quoted by official Saba news agency as saying.

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