Al Qaeda Yemen offshoot claims murder of Huthi official

 Al Qaeda`s Yemen affiliate claimed responsibility for the murder of an award-winning journalist turned top official of the Shiite Huthi militia, the group said Thursday on Twitter.

Sanaa: Al Qaeda`s Yemen affiliate claimed responsibility for the murder of an award-winning journalist turned top official of the Shiite Huthi militia, the group said Thursday on Twitter.

The claim was made by Ansar al-Sharia, or Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), which is linked to the Sunni extremist Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

A brief statement on Twitter said two militants of the group riding motorcycles opened fire on Abdul Karim al-Khiwani on Wednesday near his home in the centre of Sanaa, before fleeing.

Khiwani was a member of the Revolutionary Committee of the Huthis that control Sanaa and had been head of the militia`s media department.

In 2008 he was awarded the Amnesty International Special Award for Human Rights Journalism under threat.

Amnesty has denounced the "despicable killing of a leading journalist and activist," saying Khiwani had a history of being harassed for his "outspoken journalism and peaceful activism", and called for a probe.

The United States considers the Yemen-based AQAP the most dangerous branch of the global jihadist network.

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