Killing and kidnapping mark day of violence in Yemen
Gunmen shot down the German Ambassador’s bodyguard in the southern Hada District of Sana. In another incident, a Sierra Leonean working for the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) was kidnapped.
The Ambassador Carola Mueller-Holtkemper was out of the country. However, a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP that there had apparently been an earlier attempt to kidnap her bodyguard, who was shot dead when he resisted.
AFP reports that a foreign ministry spokeswoman in Berlin said that the government was "making intensive efforts to clear up the facts.” The area has been cleared up by security forces after the shooting.
In another incident, a Sierra Leonean citizen who works for UNICEF was kidnapped in the northern part of the city. The worker was kidnapped at gun point from his vehicle. His Yemeni driver was left unharmed.
Yemen has seen a surge in the kidnapping of foreigners. Yemen’s Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi was quoted as saying that “ransoms paid to AQAP kidnappers have helped strengthen the network.” The country has been identified by the United States as being home to AQAP (Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula), Al Qaeda’s deadliest affiliate.
AQAP militants are still holding Saudi Arabia's deputy consul in Aden, Abdullah al-Khalidi, who was kidnapped over a year ago in March 2012. In addition to money, his kidnappers have demanded the release of other prisoners with ties to Al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia. Extremists are also holding Nour-Ahmad Nikbakht, who was working as an administrative staff member of the Iranian embassy.