ADEN, Yemen, June 18 (Xinhua) -- Gunmen suspected of belonging to the Yemen-based al-Qaida branch opened fire and killed a security member in the country's southeastern province of Hadramout on Tuesday, a police official told Xinhua.
"Two masked gunmen riding a motorbike opened fire from an automatic rifle and killed a member of the newly-recruited security troops in Hadramout's district of Qatan," said the local police official, who asked to remain anonymous.
He said that the Yemeni security member died instantly at the scene after he was shot in the head.
The suspected al-Qaida assailants fled the area to an unknown destination following the drive-by shooting that occurred in Qatan district, northwest of Hadramout, he added.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) network, mostly operating in eastern and southern provinces, has been responsible for many high-profile attacks against security forces in the country.
Provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, former main strongholds of AQAP, have also witnessed sporadic attacks or heavy clashes between newly-recruited security forces and al-Qaida militants.
The AQAP, seen by the United States as the global terror network's most dangerous branch, has exploited years of deadly conflict between Yemen's government and Houthi rebels to expand its presence, especially in southeastern provinces.