SANAA, Aug. 30 (Xinhua) -- Suspected al-Qaida gunmen shot dead a senior intelligence officer in an attack in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Thursday, an interior ministry official said.
"Major Yehya Badi of the Political Security Agency was gunned down in Habra street in central Sanaa Thursday afternoon in an attack carried out by two masked al-Qaida gunmen on a motorcycle," the official, who led an investigation into the incident, told Xinhua.
"They fled the scene after Badi fell dead," he said on condition of anonymity, citing testimonies of eyewitnesses.
The attack came one day after a U.S. drone strike killed five al-Qaida operatives on a vehicle in a desert area in the Yemeni southeastern province of Hadramout.
Several intelligence and security members have been targeted in Sanaa and other major cities in a string of high-level assassinations since a U.S.-backed offensive drove al-Qaida militants out of their main strongholds in southern restive province of Abyan two months ago, where the militants had controlled for nearly a year during political turmoil that eventually forced the replacement of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh with his deputy Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The United States and neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia have beefed up anti-terror cooperation since Hadi took office to help his administration overcome security challenges and combat resurgent branch of al-Qaida network in particular.