RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN
Published — Thursday 29 November 2012
Last update 29 November 2012 1:19 am
A Saudi diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard were shot dead in the Yemeni capital Sanaa yesterday.
In Riyadh, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed the killing and identified the deceased as Khaled Shobeikan Al-Anezi, who worked as an assistant military attache at the Saudi Embassy in Sanaa.
Al-Anezi was an official from the Ministry of Defense in the Kingdom and was working on deputation to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to Yemeni security officials, gunmen opened fire at the Saudi diplomat's car in a neighborhood in southern Sanaa, killing him and his official bodyguard, a Yemeni national. Officials said the attackers were wearing army uniform.
The attack took place in Sanaa's southern district of Hada where embassies and diplomatic residences are located.
According to a statement made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the incident in Sanaa, the government of Yemen has launched a full-scale investigation of the criminal action. The Saudi Embassy said it would extend its full cooperation to Yemeni officials in bringing the perpetrator to justice and to unveil the motive of the killing.
The Saudi mission in Yemen is currently making arrangements to repatriate Al-Anezi's body as quickly as possible, the statement said.
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family yesterday.
No group has claimed responsibility for the killing thus far.
Earlier this year, the Kingdom's deputy consul in Yemen was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda militants and still remains captive. He is understood to be in captivity in the southern port city of Aden.
Abdullah Al-Khalidi, Saudi deputy consul, was kidnapped in south Yemen by Al-Qaeda militants about seven months ago. The kidnappers asked for millions in ransom and the release of Al-Qaeda-linked women jailed in Saudi Arabia.
More recently, attacks in Sanaa have targeted members of the security forces and have mostly been claimed by Al-Qaeda. In May, an attacker detonated explosives hidden under his uniform in the middle of a battalion as soldiers rehearsed for a parade, killing 96 soldiers and wounding about 300. The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda.
In October, unidentified gunmen shot dead a senior Yemeni security official employed by the US Embassy in a Sanaa hit-and-run attack.