About two masked gunmen riding a motorbike fired at Colonel Ahmed Abdul-Razzak, director of the military intelligence department in Hadramout province, the local government official said on condition of anonymity.
"Criminals of the al-Qaida terrorist group committed a criminal act and assassinated Col. Abdul-Razzak on a main road near his home in the coastal town of Mukalla," the government source said.
Yemeni security services have repeatedly blamed militants of the Yemen-based al-Qaida offshoot for a series of assassination attacks, mostly in the country's southern regions.
The Yemen-based al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which emerged in January 2009, is considered the most strategic threat to the Yemeni government and its neighboring oil-rich Saudi Arabia.
The AQAP underscores the challenges faced by Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who came to power after winning support from major Yemeni political forces in February 2012.
Hadi is tasked with restoring security and stability to Yemen and putting an end to the growing influence of al-Qaida that also threatens daily oil shipping routes in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
Editor: Mu Xuequan