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Yemeni chief of security for US consulate killed

Yemeni security officials say a gunman has killed the Yemeni chief of security working for the US Embassy in the capital city Sanaa. The attack comes amid a US-backed offensive against al Qaeda’s branch in the country.

A gunman on a motorcycle opened fire on Qassem Aqlan, who was on his way to work early on Thursday. The unidentified gunmen then fled the scene. Aqlan had been working for the US Embassy in the Yemeni capital for nearly 20 years, according to Yemeni security officials.

The attack comes as Yemen's US-backed government is waging an offensive against al Qaeda, taking back territory and cities in the south that the terrorist group seized last year.

A US diplomat said that Aqlan, who was in his fifties, was in charge of coordinating a US and Yemeni probe into an attack last month on the embassy by protesters angry over an anti-Islam film that triggered a wave of demonstrations across the Muslim world.

Demonstrators had attempted to storm the US embassy in Sanaa on September 13, and some managed to break into the mission's compound, before Yemeni security forces intervened. Four protesters were killed and 34 others wounded.

The protests in Yemen occurred two days after four Americans, including the ambassador, were killed when a mob attacked the US consulate in Libya's second city Benghazi.

hc/msh (AP, AFP)