Saudi diplomat shot dead in Yemen

Sanaa - Gunmen shot dead a Saudi Arabian diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard in the capital Sanaa on Wednesday, two officials told Reuters.

The killing was the latest in a series of attacks on officials and politicians in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state, which is battling Islamist militants with US assistance.

“Gunmen opened fire at the Saudi diplomat's car in a neighbourhood in southern Sanaa, killing him and his Yemeni bodyguard,” a Yemeni security official said. He said the diplomat was the assistant military attache at the Saudi embassy.

A spokesman for the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh confirmed the killing of the diplomat, and said the ministry would issue a statement shortly.

Restoring stability in Yemen is an international priority because of its strategic position adjoining oil exporter Saudi Arabia as well as major shipping lanes.

Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and other militant groups strengthened their grip on parts of the country during an uprising that ousted veteran president Ali Abdullah Saleh in February. - Reuters