Sana’a: At least two people including a senior Yemeni military officer were killed after a bomb planted in a car exploded in the southeastern city of Mukalla in an attack blamed on al Qaeda, media reported on Friday.
A security official told Reuters that Brigadier Omar Barasheed, dean of the Command and General Staff College, died in hospital from injuries incurred in the bombing. His bodyguard was killed and a civilian was also wounded in the attack.
The bombing was the latest in a series of attacks on senior figures or government institutions in Yemen since a U.S.-backed offensive pushed out Islamist militants linked to al Qaeda from their strongholds in the southern part of the country in June.
Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the official said that all signs indicated al-Qaeda was behind the attack, which happened late on Thursday in the capital of Hadramaut province.
Earlier this week, security forces foiled a plot by an al Qaeda-linked cell to carry out attacks in the capital Sanaa and seized 40 belts packed with explosives, highlighting risks posed by Islamist militancy in the impoverished Arab state.
The United States has been pouring financial and military aid into Yemen to stem the threat of attacks from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and prevent any spillover of violence into neighboring Saudi Arabia, the world’s top oil exporter.
It has also stepped up a campaign of drone missile strikes against AQAP, which has been behind several failed attacks on the United States, including an attempt to blow up an airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009.