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Gunmen shoot dead 2 top Yemen security officers

(AFP) / 25 December 2012

Gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two senior Yemeni security officers in separate attacks in Sanaa on Tuesday, officials said.

Intelligence officer General Fadl al-Zamani of the national security services was shot dead at Bab al-Yaman, the entrance to the old city in Sanaa, a security official said, adding that the assailant had managed to escape.

In another shooting, a gunman on motorbike opened fire at Colonel Salim al-Gharbani, a member of the elite Republican Guard, in the capital’s Dar Solom district, before fleeing, another security official said.

Gharbani was rushed to the hospital where he succumbed to his wounds, the official said.

The killers have not yet been identified but such attacks, which are becoming increasingly frequent in Yemen, have in the past been been carried out by Al-Qaeda militants.

Yemen has been undergoing a bumpy transition period marred by violence since former strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to quit earlier this year in an uprising against his 33-year-long rule.

Last week, Yemeni President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi announced the restructuring of the army and the defence ministry, purging them of Saleh’s relatives and cronies.

During his long rule, Saleh had carefully chosen his aides, handing delicate posts to his relatives.

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