[QODLink]
Middle East
US citizen shot dead in Yemen
Gunmen on motorbikes kill man believed to have been a language teacher in southern city of Taiz, officials say.
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2012 16:30
Ansar al-Sharia claimed the American teacher had been spreading Christianity [EPA]

Two gunmen have killed a US citizen in southwestern Yemen in an attack that was claimed by an armed group associated with al-Qaeda.

The assailants, who were riding a motorbike, shot the man in his car while he was driving in Taiz, then fled the scene, a Yemeni official told the AFP news agency.

The man was believed to have been a teacher working at the International Training and Development Centre in the southern city. The US state department confirmed that a US citizen had been killed but did not give any other details.

Ansar al-Sharia, an armed group linked to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack in a text message circulated among local media. The group claimed the man had been a Christian missionary and that they attacked him to respond to "a Western campaign to preach Christianity among Muslims".

Witnesses said that the attackers were dressed in the uniform of the elite Republican Guard, which is led by the son of former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the extremist group's franchise in Yemen, is active in the south and east but not in Taiz, which was a major centre for the opposition movement that eventually forced former president Saleh to step down.

Hardline Muslim fighters have exploited the weakening central government in Sanaa to strengthen their presence in parts of the country that are not under tight government control.

The attack comes two days after suspected al-Qaeda gunmen abducted a Swiss woman, also a teacher at a language school, in the Red Sea port of Hodeida and moved her to the restive Shabwa province further east.

Meanwhile, a warplane bombed suspected extremist groups in southern city of Jaar, causing the population to flee their homes, residents said, but there were no immediate reports of people killed or injured.

Armed groups captured Jaar in the Abyan province in March last year after the outbreak of protests against Saleh's 33-year rule and have turned it into their main base in southern Yemen.

The raid comes after a spate of attacks by Ansar al-Sharia (Partisans of Islamic Law), the deadliest of which killed at least 110 conscripts last week, in a reminder of the challenges faced by newly elected President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
The conservative UMP party suffers from crippling internal divisions and extreme debt from mismanagement.
More than fifty years of an armed struggle for independence from Spain might be coming to an end in the Basque Country.
After the shooting-down of flight MH17, relatives ask what the carrier has learned from still-missing MH370.
Human rights and corporate responsibility prompt a US church to divest from companies doing business with Israel.
Afghan militias have accumulated a lengthy record of human-rights abuses, including murders and rapes.
join our mailing list