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Chief of US Security at Embassy in Yemen Shot Dead

Common Dreams staff

The Yemeni chief of security at the US embassy in Sanaa has been assassinated, officials there have said.

Qassem Aqlani, fifty-five, was on his way to work Thursday when he was gunned down, according to reports, by a masked gunman on a motorcycle who then fled the scene.

The seemingly targeted attack on Aqlani—who has worked at the embassy for nearly twenty years—comes as the US military, in collusion with the Yemeni government, wages an ongoing drone war of assassinations against Al Qaeda-affiliated factions in Yemen.

The US drone attacks have killed many innocent civilians, spawning nationwide anger and protest. Last month, for example, thirteen civilians—including men, women, and children— were killed in a drone strike near the town of Radaa.

Known as Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the group often targeted by the US and Yemen government has called for attacks on the US embassy.

In one of the poorest and most resource scarce nations in the region—shaped by a deep humanitarian emergency caused by a food crisis, lack of available water, and the impact of the US drone operations—Yemen, which also saw the rise and ultimate suppression of an impassioned pro-democracy movement in recent years, continues to teeter on the constant verge of crisis as a highly destabilized country.

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