Gunmen suspected to be members of al- Qaida shot dead a security official but failed to kill the governor and security director of Yemen's southern Abyan province on Thursday, media and officials said, Xinhua reported.
"Lieutenant Colonel Mohamed al-Baham, security head of Modiya district of Abyan, was shot dead Thursday morning by militants suspected to be members of al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) ," a local councilman told Xinhua by phone.
He said on condition of anonymity that the shooting took place when policemen tried to disperse a gathering of protesters against the government's anti-terror policy in Abyan, where AQAP is active.
Just hours later in the same day, the suspected AQAP militants carried out a failed attack on the Abyan governor, Ahmad al- Maysiry, and the security director of Abyan province, Abdulrazaq al-Marwani, according to the al-Jazeera Channel.
It said only four bodyguards of the two officials were wounded in the failed ambush.
The attack took place when the governor and security director were en-route to Modiya.
No group has claimed responsibility of the two attacks so far, but the government and local counter-terrorism experts refer such kind of attacks to al-Qaida regional wing in Yemen.
The attack came four days after the AQAP declared establishing an army of 12,000 fighters in Abyan to wage a war against the country's security services and foreign interests, according to a statement by the group's military commander Kasim al-Raimy.
Yemen, the ancestral homeland of al-Qaida network leader Osama bin Laden, intensified its fight against terrorist groups after the Yemen-based al-Qaida wing claimed responsibility for a failed Christmas Day attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit last year.