Yemen: Motorbike ban after spate of drive-by shootings

Unloading seized bikes
Image caption Seized motorbikes at police HQ

Motorbikes are banned in the Yemeni capital Sanaa for two weeks after a spate of attacks by motorcycle-riding gunmen.

A number of security and military officers have been killed by gunmen riding motorcycles, Al-Sahwah newspaper says. Al-Qaeda militants battling the government frequently target security forces, taking advantage of the weakening of government authority since a popular uprising toppled veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011.

Last week, two Belarussian military advisers were attacked in Sanaa by gunmen on motorbikes, with one killed and the other seriously hurt. Al-Qaeda's Yemeni branch recently called on its members to use motorbikes instead of cars in order to avoid being hit by US drone attacks.

Motorbikes are also a cheap and popular form of transport. On Saturday, the day before the ban took force, hundreds of motorcyclists gathered to protest against the ban.

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