Yemen judge known for al Qaida prison sentences shot dead

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A prominent Yemen judge who was known for sentencing al Qaida militants to prison has been shot dead in the southern port city of Aden, security officials have said.

They said masked gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Judge Mohsen Alwan’s vehicle in Aden’s Mansoura neighbourhood on Saturday, killing him and three other people.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but officials suspect al Qaida’s Yemen branch was behind it. Al Qaida militants have previously used motorcycles in their assassinations.

Al Qaida has recently made land grabs in southern and eastern Yemen, exploiting the chaos of the country’s larger conflict, which pits Shiite Houthi rebels allied with a former president against the internationally recognised government and a Saudi-led and US-backed coalition.

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