Gunmen kill Saudi diplomat, guard in Yemen capital

Sanaa, Yemen:  A Saudi diplomat and his bodyguard were killed when their car was raked with gunfire by unidentified assailants in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday, a diplomatic source said.

"Gunmen dressed in the central security forces' uniforms opened fire heavily at the car of the Saudi diplomat in Sanaa, causing it to flip over and killing him and his bodyguard," the source said on condition of anonymity.

The diplomat is an official at the embassy's military section in Yemen, said the same source.

The attack took place in Sanaa's southern district of Hada, where embassies and diplomats' residences are located.

No party has yet claimed the attack.

Sanaa has seen several attacks on members of the security forces in recent months, most of which have been claimed by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), the network's deadliest branch.

Jihadists are still holding Saudi's deputy consul in the southern port city of Aden, Abdullah al-Khalidi, who was abducted on March 28 by Al Qaeda militants seeking to secure the release of female prisoners and to collect a ransom.

Al Qaeda has exploited the weakening central government in Sanaa to strengthen its presence in areas across the restive south and southeast.

Saudi Arabia itself witnessed a wave of deadly attacks by Al Qaeda between 2003 and 2006, which prompted authorities to launch a crackdown on the local branch of the jihadist network founded by slain Saudi-born Osama bin Laden.

Story First Published: November 28, 2012 18:52 IST

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