Explosion kills governor of Yemen’s Aden and 6 bodyguards
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Explosion kills governor of Yemen’s Aden and 6 bodyguards

Attack comes day after senior military official and state judge were shot dead by masked gunmen in seaport city

File photo: Yemeni troops gather as they take positions at the frontline of fighting with al-Qaeda militants in the southeastern province of Shabwa, Yemen, 2014 (AP/Yemen's Defense Ministry)
File photo: Yemeni troops gather as they take positions at the frontline of fighting with al-Qaeda militants in the southeastern province of Shabwa, Yemen, 2014 (AP/Yemen's Defense Ministry)

SANA’A, Yemen — A huge explosion killed the governor of Yemen’s southern Aden province and six of his bodyguards on Sunday, security officials said.

Governor Gaafar Mohamed Saad was traveling to his office on Sunday morning when the explosion struck his convoy in the Rimbaud area of the southern port city. Authorities are investigating the exact cause of the explosion.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Pro-government forces backed by a Saudi-led coalition drove Shiite Houthi rebels out of Aden earlier this year. A local al-Qaeda affiliate has exploited the chaos of Yemen’s conflict to seize territory in the country’s south and east, and has a growing presence in Aden.

On Saturday, masked gunmen on motorcycles carried out separate attacks on vehicles in Aden, killing Colonel Aqeel al-Khodr, a military intelligence official, and Judge Mohsen Alwan, who was known for sentencing al-Qaeda militants. Three other people were killed in the attack on Alwan.

No one immediately claimed the attacks, which bore the hallmarks of al-Qaeda.

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, has long been seen as one of the most sophisticated branches of the global network and has been linked to several failed attacks on the US homeland. The Yemeni also affiliate claimed the attack on the Paris office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January, which left 12 people dead.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.

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