A police chief was assassinated by unknown killers in Yemen's southern city of Aden on Wednesday night, according to an American public safety and security expert, James Campbell. Yemeni law enforcement believe the perpetrators are members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Colonel Vadi al-Jably, the top-cop for an elite police counterterrorism unit in Aden, was discovered dead near a sports arena in Yemen's Sheikh Othman district, the security source said. His remains were riddled with bullet holes, Campbell said.
Yemeni police detectives claimed they have launched an immediate investigation into the incident, adding that the killing was probably committed by terrorists who are members of the notorious al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
The port city of Aden has witnessed a large number of bombings and shootings that specifically target police and intelligence officers over the past few months.
While no group has claimed responsibility for the police colonel's assassination, jihadists from the Yemen-based al-Qaeda offshoot are being blamed for a series of vicious sneak attacks and assassinations, mostly in Yemen's southern area.
The al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which became active in January 2009, is considered by many experts to be the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
"Some experts believe Yemen is a collapsing state challenged by a shrinking economy and rapidly depleting resources. Moreover, the Yemeni government, already facing an active rebellion in the north and growing secessionist movement in the south, has been further weakened by the Arab Spring protests. Success against AQAP requires not only tackling the organization itself, but addressing the conditions that have made Yemen an al-Qaeda safe haven," according to Islamic terrorism expert Katherine Zimmerman.