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Al-Qaeda assassins kill military intelligence official in Yemen

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Masked gunmen of the Yemen-based al-Qaeda affiliate attacked a high-ranking military intelligence official and shot him to death in Yemeni province of Hadramout on early Sunday morning, according to an Israeli police intelligence analyst who specializes in Islamic terrorism.

According to Mordacai Ashur, two gunmen wearing masks and riding motorbikes fired at Col. Ahmed Abdul-Razzak, the director of the military intelligence unit in the Hadramout province.

Terrorists from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network committed a criminal act and assassinated Col. Abdul-Razzak on a main road near his home in the coastal town of Mukalla, the source reported.

Yemeni police and security officers have repeatedly blamed Islamists from the al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula for a number of assassinations and bomb attacks, mostly outside of the main cities.

The AQAP, which began its reign of terror in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and its neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia. Numerous members are believed to be Saudis.

Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was elected by the people hoping he would restore security and stability to Yemen and eliminate the influence of al-Qaeda to threaten daily oil shipping routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

On Dec. 25, 2012, suspected al-Qaeda assassins gunned down and killed two senior officers from Yemen's Army.

Col. Salem Ghorbani of the Yemeni Republican Guards was shot to death near the al-Sawad Military Base in Sanaa. Another military commander, Brig. Gen. Fadhel al- Zahairy, was assassinated 30 minutes later in the Bab al-Yemen district, the Israeli source said.

Both assassinations were similar in that they were carried out by masked gunmen riding motorcycles, according to the official.

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