Reports out of Yemen say a gunman in the southern province of Lahj has killed a man for being gay.

Eyewitness Ahmed Hadi told the Associated Press that Waleed Saleh Awedan, 25, was shot by a man riding a motorbike near his home on Monday evening.

The official spoke anonymously because he was not authorised to brief reporters.

At least 34 people have been killed in similar attacks in the past two years, many in the southern provinces which have been under intermittent al-Qaida control.

Same-sex sexual is illegal in Yemen and punishable by death in accordance with the country’s Shari’ah legal system. The penalty stipulates corporal punishment for the first offence; death penalty for the second offence.

The government’s official position is that there are no gay citizens in Yemen.