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.