‘Qaeda’ gunman seriously wounds Yemen intelligence officer
Fighters of Islamic State - REUTERS/Yaser al-Khodor

SANAA: A suspected Al-Qaeda gunman seriously wounded a senior Yemeni intelligence officer in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday, medical and security officials said.

Colonel Ali al-Sharafi, a key figure in the government’s fight against the jihadists, was undergoing emergency surgery after being hit by eight bullets, a medical official said.

The gunman, riding on the back of a motorbike, opened fire as Sharafi as he left his home in the capital’s Saba district, a security official said.

Sharafi headed a unit tasked with guarding Al-Qaeda suspects while on trial.

He also took part in the dismantling of a cell implicated in a spate of assassinations in the capital.

Police responded with a raid in a northern suburb of Sanaa in which they detained four people suspected of involvement in the shooting, the security official said.

They were also hunting a second group of suspects in the same Hasaba suburb, he added.

The favored means of getting around in impoverished Yemen, frequently replacing taxis, motorbikes have been used repeatedly in hit-and-run shootings that have killed dozens of officials in recent years.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), seen by Washington as the network’s deadliest franchise, has been blamed for most of the attacks.

Meanwhile, in Hodeida province on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, police captured Al-Qaeda’s suspected provincial commander, Abdul Rahman Mehjeb, another security official said.

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