ADEN : Gunmen shot dead a Yemeni army colonel and his son on Sunday when he stopped his car at a roundabout in his hometown, a local official said, extending a string of assassinations of top armed forces figures by suspected militants. Four passersby were also wounded when the gunmen, who were on foot, fired on Colonel Ahmed al-Marfadi, deputy commander of the 37th Armoured Division, and his son when they stopped at a traffic light in the centre of the town of al-Qatan in the province of Hadramout, the government official said.

Meanwhile, Yemen on Sunday began enforcing a temporary ban on motorbikes in the capital to prevent “shoot and scoot” attacks in the city during national dialogue sessions. The interior ministry said the ban will last until December 15 to “preserve security and stability” as Yemen undergoes a difficult political transition.

An AFP correspondent reported that the ban was being strictly enforced, with no motorcycles on the streets on Sunday. Motorbikes are a cheap form of transport frequently used as taxis in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

But they have also become a tool used for hit-and-run shootings that have killed dozens of officials nationwide.