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Published: Monday, 3/19/2012

Gunmen in Yemen kill U.S. teacher

Yemenis gather around a car reported to belong to the American teacher slain Sunday on his way to work. Yemenis gather around a car reported to belong to the American teacher slain Sunday on his way to work.

SANAA, Yemen — An American teacher at a missionary organization was slain by two men on a motorcycle in the central Yemeni city Taiz on Sunday, according to Yemeni officials.

The teacher was on his way to work when the gunmen approached his car and opened fire, said Hamoud al-Sofi, the governor of Taiz. He said investigators had information indicating possible involvement by al-Qaeda in Yemen.

“We are all sad in Taiz and we consider this a disaster,” Mr. al-Sofi added.

The teacher had been living in Taiz along with his wife and two children for at least two years. According to another Yemeni official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, the teacher worked for a vocational institute for handicapped people established by the Swedish Free Mission, a charitable organization largely financed by churches.

Taiz has historically been a more peaceful city than the rest of Yemen, with a generally tolerant populace. However, over the last year, urban conflict broke out there between armed tribesmen who supported anti-government demonstrators and government forces controlled by the relatives of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

More than 2,000 people have been killed in a year of political turmoil that led to the resignation of Yemen’s longtime president, the government said Sunday.

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