ADEN (Reuters) - Suspected al Qaeda militants shot dead two senior officers in Yemen's security services on Friday, security sources said, in the latest of a wave of such attacks.
Colonel Omar Rabie Ben Amr, who headed what is known as the political security apparatus at a border checkpoint with Saudi Arabia, was shot dead as he left a mosque after Friday prayers in al-Qoton area of Hadramout.
The assassins fled on a motorbike after firing three shots into his head, a source said.
An army officer, Colonel Abdel Maguid al-Salami, was also killed in the southern city of al-Hota. Two suspected al Qaeda militants shot the man in front of his house on Friday and fled, a local security source said.
Dozens of Yemeni security and military officers have been assassinated in the past two years, many by bombs planted in their cars or in drive-by shootings, often blamed on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or its affiliates.
Last Saturday unidentified assailants fired on the motorcade of the prime minister. No one was hurt.
Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, is struggling against one of the most active franchises of the network founded by Osama bin Laden.
It is also facing other domestic threats including a growing secessionist movement in the south.
(Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf; Writing by Maha El Dahan; Editing by Andrew Roche)