SANAA, Sep. 16, 2010 (Xinhua News Agency) -- Yemen security authorities banned motorcycles in its al-Qaida-infested southern Abyan province, where nearly all assassinations on security officials were carried out by suspected al-Qaida armed motorcyclists, a police official said Thursday.
"Using motorbikes in terrorist operations to assassinate intelligence officers and security personnel have been massively mounted over the past nine months in the province," the official of the Sanaa-based Interior Ministry told Xinhua.
He said on condition of anonymity that dozens of intelligence and security personnel were killed in such assassinations' operations as terrorist militants used motorcycles as a quick tactic to flee the scene.
The ban took effect on Wednesday as authorities seek to prevent further casualties, he said.
Motorcycles in Abyan province have reportedly numbered more than 5,000 in last August, according to local media.
Abyan has apparently become a stronghold of al-Qaida wing in the Arabian Peninsula, which has witnessed a series of assassinations and deadly attacks by resurgent al-Qaida militants.
Last week, a local police official told Xinhua that al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) distributed alleged circulars to threaten to assassinate 55 named top security officers in Abyan.
With a logistic support from Washington, the impoverished Sanaa government has beefed up crackdown on terrorist groups since the Yemen-based al-Qaida arm claimed credit for a botched attempt to blow up a U.S. passenger plane bound for Detroit last December.