'Qaeda' kills Yemen intelligence officer: police

Suspected Al-Qaeda gunmen shot dead a Yemeni intelligence officer in a drive-by attack in the southern city of Mukalla, capital of the southeastern Hadramawt province, a police source said on Saturday.

Two men riding a motorbike shot Colonel Abdullah al-Ribaki on Friday evening in a residential area of Mukalla, the source said, adding: "Al-Qaeda is behind this killing."

Another local official told AFP that Ribaki had been a target for the network, which recently posted notices in Mukalla threatening to step up their fight against intelligence officers and police.

Al-Qaeda militants were driven out of most of their strongholds in Yemen's south last June in an all-out offensive by government forces aided by local "resistance committees".

Militants from Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula had taken advantage of the weakness of Yemen's central government during a 2011 uprising against now-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

AQAP fighters seized large swathes of territory across the south, including most of Abyan province, which they controlled for a year.