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Senior Yemeni intelligence officer killed

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AHMED AL-HAJ | December 11, 2012 05:04 AM EST | AP

Yemeni military officials say that a senior intelligence officer in southeastern Hadramawt province has been killed by two unknown assailants on a motorbike.

The officials said the attackers shot Brig. Gen. Ahmed Ba Ramada, deputy head of intelligence for Hadramawt, as he left his home Tuesday in Mukalla, the provincial capital.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to brief reporters.

Several senior Yemeni military and intelligence officials have been killed in the past few months. Officials believe al-Qaida is waging a retaliation campaign for a military offensive, backed by U.S. advisers, which pushed militants out of strongholds in several southern towns last summer.

The U.S. considers the local al-Qaida branch, which is also known as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the world's most active.