SANAA, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- Suspected al-Qaida gunmen shot dead a Yemeni pilot in the capital of Sanaa on Monday, an air force spokesperson told Xinhua.
Colonel Abdul-Wahab Azzam was killed after he left al-Dailamy Air Force Base to drive home at midday, said Major Sadik Ali.
Azzam was intercepted by two suspected al-Qaida attackers riding a motorcycle on a main street, around five km southeast of the air base, Ali said, citing an initial investigative report into the incident.
The Yemeni government has repeatedly blamed militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) for a series of assassinations against army personnel since last year.
In August, the AQAP bombed a bus which was carrying air force personnel near the air base in Sanaa, killing at least 12 people and injured a dozen of others.
The U.S. drones increased air raids against the AQAP militants in Yemen's southern regions after Washington temporarily closed its embassy in Sanaa last month due to security threats. The Yemeni government said more than 40 suspected terrorists were killed in the strikes.
The AQAP has carried out a series of assassinations and suicide attacks against the Yemeni army for revenge.