Sanaa: A police officer was killed and four others wounded when gunmen fired at a patrolling squad in Yemen’s southeastern province of Shabwa on Tuesday, a security official told Xinhua.

“Gunmen inside the parked car opened fire on five policemen who were on patrol at the main entrance of Shabwa’s provincial capital of Ataq town, leaving one officer dead and four others injured,” the local security official said on condition of anonymity.

“The drive-by shooting took place when the officers approached a car parked at the side of a road with about three masked gunmen on board,” the official said.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, about which the country’s defense ministry also has no official confirmation.

Yemeni military officials have blamed militants of the Yemen-based Al Qaeda offshoot for a series of assassinations and armed attacks, mostly in the country’s southern regions.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which emerged in January 2009 and is also known locally as Ansar al-Sharia, is considered one of the greatest threats to the Yemeni government and neighbouring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.

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