Yemeni intelligence officer killed, general escapes in ambushes

A senior Yemeni intelligence officer was shot dead on Monday by suspected al-Qaeda militants and an army general escaped a separate ambush in eastern Yemen, security sources said.

The intelligence officer, Colonel Nasser Ahmed, was targeted as he was driving in the southern city of al-Bayda, the sources told Reuters.

In a separate attack, suspected al-Qaeda militants planted bombs in a road on which General Abdulrahman Al Hulaili's convoy was traveling near al-Qatan in eastern Hadramout province, security sources and local officials said.

The attackers also opened fire on the convoy. Three of Hulaili's bodyguards were wounded but the general, the head of the First Military Region, was unharmed, the sources said.

The al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al-Shariah claimed responsibility for the two attacks on the group's Twitter account.

Authorities have not yet identified the attackers but said the ambushes mirrored scores of previous attacks blamed on al Qaeda. Those attacks killed more than 200 army officers in different areas of Yemen in the past three years.

Yemen has been in turmoil since 2011 pro-democracy protests forced long-ruling President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.