Saudi embassy official gunned down in Yemen

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 04:00 hrs

Riyadh, Nov 28 (IANS) A Saudi Arabian embassy military official and his Yemeni bodyguard were Wednesday assassinated by unidentified gunmen in security uniforms in Yemen's capital city of Sana'a, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

A source at the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs told SPA that Corporal Khalid Shbikhan Al−Enazi, working with the Saudi military attache in Sana'a, and his bodyguard were shot outside the diplomat's home.

The attack took place in Bait Zabatan district, a suburb of the capital near Hadda district, CNN reported.

At least five gunmen in a 4x4 truck chased the victims' vehicle for about five minutes, Saudi embassy official told CNN in Sana'a. More than 20 shots were fired in the victims' direction.

The shots caused the vehicle to flip over. The gunmen were said to have been dressed as members of the security services.

A Yemeni interior ministry official told Xinhua: "Gunmen in security uniforms intercepted the car of a Saudi military diplomat in a busy street in downtown Sana'a while he was on his way to the Saudi embassy, killing him and his Yemeni bodyguard."

The gunmen fled the scene before police rushed to investigate the incident.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Xinhua identified the killed Saudi as Khalid Shibikan Al Anizi, the assistant military attache.

It was, however, not immediately clear whether the Saudi official was the military attache or he was just an official working with the military attache at the embassy.

SPA reported that the Saudi ministry of foreign affairs is preparing to move the body to the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has not yet accused anyone over the attack, "but this was planned", an unnamed Saudi embassy official told CNN in Sana'a.

Prince Saud Al−Faisal, minister of foreign affairs, has condoled the death.

Saudi officials in Yemen have been frequently targeted since the kingdom supported the Yemeni government in its war against the Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Saudi diplomat Abdullah Mohammed Khalifa al−Khaledi has been held hostage by the AQAP in Yemen for eight months since he was kidnapped from outside his residential building in Yemen's southern port city of Aden in March. His whereabouts are still unknown.

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