ADEN: Unidentified gunmen on motorbikes shot dead two leaders of the loyalist militia controlling the southern Yemeni port of Aden in separate attacks on Monday, officials said.
Rasheed Khaled Saif and Hamdi al-Shutairi were military leaders of the Popular Southern Resistance, a loose alliance which fought the siege of the city by Houthi militia forces with support from Gulf Arab states.
No group immediately claimed responsibility for the killings, which followed the shooting of a senior security official in Aden on Sunday.
Militias loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who is currently based in Saudi Arabia, recaptured Aden in July.
Since then, a power vacuum has grown, with Al Qaeda militants moving into a main neighborhood and unknown assailants blowing up the intelligence headquarters.
Residents have complained that police have largely quit the streets and that despite the victory against the Houthis, Hadi’s government has yet to return from Saudi Arabia.
Plans to set up a temporary administration in Aden have been dogged by the chaos.
“We finished the war and the Houthis, but this series of assassinations is really worrying us. There’s a security vacuum, the people hope some kind of authority can be established and the police will be deployed so we can be put at ease,” said local construction worker Mohammed Ahmed Salem.
The northern-based Houtis seized the capital Sanaa in September 2014 then took control of much of the country. Loyalist forces, supported by air strikes from a Saudi-led coalition, have made significant advances since July however.
Gulf states see the Houthis as a proxy of their arch rival Iran, while the group says it is fighting a revolution against corrupt officials beholden to the West.