Security Chief at US Embassy in Yemen Is Gunned Down

Al-Qaeda suspected as Qassem Aqlani shot in the street
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 11, 2012 6:24 AM CDT
Security Chief at US Embassy in Yemen Is Gunned Down
In this Thursday, Sept. 18, 2008 file photo, a Yemeni soldier stands guard in front of the main entrance of the US Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen.   (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)

(Newser) – Yemeni security officials say a gunman has assassinated the Yemeni chief of security at the US Embassy in Sanaa. The officials say Qassem Aqlani, who was in his fifties, was shot dead while on his way to work early today. They say a gunman on a motorcycle opened fire at him and fled the scene. The Yemeni officials said the killing bore the hallmarks of an al-Qaeda attack, but it was too early to determine if the group was behind it.

The latest attack in Yemen, however, may be more tied to domestic tensions. The assassination resembles other attacks targeting Yemeni intelligence, military, and security officials in retaliation for a wide military offensive by Yemen's US-backed government against al-Qaeda's branch in the country. Two weeks ago, a top intelligence official, Col. Abdullah al-Ashwal, was also killed in a drive-by shooting in Sanaa. Aqlani had worked for the US Embassy in the Yemeni capital for nearly 20 years. (Read more Yemen stories.)

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