Middle East

Yemeni employee of US embassy shot dead in Sanaa

Local men inspect the site of the shooting in Sanaa
Image caption The attack took place near Qassem Aqlan's home in Sanaa

Gunmen have shot and killed a local employee of the US embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

Security official Qassem Aqlan was going to work when he was attacked by masked men on a motorbike, Yemeni and embassy officials said.

Mr Aqlan had worked at the embassy for at least 10 years, sources said.

No group has said it carried out the attack but some officials in Sanaa said it bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula militants.

Other previous attacks have targeted Yemeni intelligence, military and security officials in retaliation for military operations by the US-backed government against al-Qaeda forces in the country.

The US state department was "deeply saddened" by the incident, a senior official said. "We are working with Yemeni authorities."

Mr Aqlan was responsible for co-ordinating security information between the embassy and Yemeni authorities.

He was also involved in an investigation into an attack on the embassy last month.

During protests against an anti-Islam film made in the US, demonstrators briefly stormed the embassy grounds and burnt the US flag.

They were driven back by security forces.

Employees at the US embassy in Sanaa told BBC Arabic that Mr Aqlan might have been killed because he was about to reveal "compelling evidence" about who was behind the storming of the heavily fortified embassy.