State Department Responds to Killing in Yemen
A senior Yemeni security officer, who worked as an investigator and liaison at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a, was killed by two masked gunmen. Department of State Spokesperson Victoria Nuland released a statement saying, “we are deeply saddened by the killing (of Qassam Aklan) and condemn this vicious act in the strongest terms possible.” Yemeni officials claimed Aklan was part of an investigation into demonstrations that turned violent at the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a last month, but Nuland denied those reports.
Amid a freer political atmosphere and in the face of a weakened central authority, Yemeni separatist leaders returned from exile to rally support for the secessionist movement in South Yemen. There is growing concern among the international community that al-Qaeda will exploit similar conditions to gain traction, however southern separatists responded by asserting that al-Qaeda will be more easily neutralized in an independent South.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni government is planning to begin a national dialogue in November, focused on reforming the political system. In an interview with Mohammed al-Samei of the Yemen Times, well-known Houthi leader Ali al-Emad was quoted as saying “we will take part in the National Dialogue, and we hope it will be concluded with positive results.”