Who is killing Yemen’s clerics? Mystery murders are sending a chill through the mosques.


 A white Toyota Corolla pulled up next to Safwan al-Sharjabi as he walked along a crowded road one evening this spring after buying medicine for his mother, witnesses recalled. A man stepped out of the car and fired at least four bullets into the slender, goateed cleric. He fell to the ground, blood pooling from his lower back.

Sharjabi became the latest Muslim cleric to die in a long series of unsolved murders. As many as 27 clerics have been killed in the past two years in Aden and nearby areas.

“Most people in the neighborhood knew Safwan and listened to his sermons,” said Mohammed Abdullah, 32, the pharmacy owner who saw the car speeding away. “He was influential. That’s the reason they killed him.”

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