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US Embassy Employee Murdered in Yemen

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A senior Yemeni officer Qassim M. Aklan who is working in the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa was killed Thursday.

Reports say two men on a motorcycle drove up alongside the car of Mr. Qassim M. Aklan, and one of them opened fire, killing him.

Today, the United States of America deplored the killing as a "vicious" act.

In her remarks, US Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland said the US government is deeply saddened by the killing of Qassim M. Aklan, a longtime employee of the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a.

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USS Cole after the October 2000 attack. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
"We condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms possible and extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time." - Ms. Nuland

Ms. Nuland said Mr. Aklan worked as a Foreign Service National Investigator at the Embassy for the last 11 years.

"He was a dedicated professional who will be greatly missed." - Ms. Nuland

The US government is coordinating closely with the Yemeni authorities to investigate the attack and to help bring those responsible to justice.

Reports say the Yemen-based al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, is responsible for the killing of the US embassy employee.

Yemeni Authorities Recovering Cities From AQAP

AQAP is reportedly targeting Yemeni intelligence, military and security officials as well.

In June this year, the Yemeni city of Shuqra fell to government forces when Yemeni troops took control of the city.

Shuqra is the most recent major stronghold of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Abyan province to fall to government forces.

The Yemeni military launched an all-out offensive last month that resulted in the recapture of the towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.

The United States of America has commended Yemeni military success against al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

As Yemeni security services continue to reclaim territory previously held by AQAP, the United States encourages the prompt restoration of civilian authority, humanitarian relief, and essential public services across Yemen.

The United States remains committed to working with Yemen as it addresses the many challenges it faces in the security realm as well political, economic, and humanitarian affairs.

In May this year, at least 96 people were killed in a deadly attack in Sanaa. Reports say a suicide bomber wearing a Yemeni soldier uniform detonated explosives under his uniform in the middle of an army battalion, killing dozens of troops.

Al Qaeda claimed it was responsible for the suicide bombing.

The United States of America expressed condemnation onf the terrorist attack against Yemeni military forces.

Concerns About Yemen Increasing

Reports say Yemen is increasingly a source of concern for the United States and other Western countries, as the mixing of civil discontent and regional actors makes it vulnerable to terror groups such as al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Shi'ite Houthi rebels.

In addition to fighting an ongoing civil war with the secessionist Houthis, the country has become a breeding ground for AQAP.

AQAP has been behind attacks on Yemeni soil and has used the country as a launching pad for terror attacks elsewhere.

In addition to the terror threat and domestic instability, Yemen faces poverty and severe oil and water shortages.

In February this year, Yemen's new President Abbed Rabbo Mansour al-Hadi took his oath of office in parliament, formally removing Ali Abdullah Saleh from power after 33 years.

Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi ran in the uncontested race, a deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council to neutralize the conflict engulfing the country.

It is estimated that the recent political turmoil in Yemen, part of a wave of protests across the Middle East and North Africa calling for social, economic and democratic reforms, has led to more than 82 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain english. Read more stories by Mina Fabulous. Contact Mina through NewsBlaze.

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