AFP – An Iranian diplomat was fatally wounded in a drive-by shooting outside the ambassador’s residence in the Yemeni capital on Saturday, a medic said.
“The Iranian diplomat has died of his wounds,” the medic at Sanaa’s Modern German Hospital told AFP.
He said the diplomat, identified as Ali Asghar Assadi, had been “hit in the shoulder, abdomen and stomach.”
“He was taken to the operating theatre then transferred to intensive care but died after an hour and half.”
Nobody at the Iranian embassy was immediately available for comment but other diplomats said the victim was an embassy security officer.
“Unidentified assailants in a van fired on the diplomat three times as he was leaving the ambassador’s residence near a shopping centre in Hadda,” the main diplomatic district of Sanaa, a police source told AFP.
The shooting comes as another Iranian diplomat, Nour-Ahmad Nikbakht, who was kidnapped in Sanaa in July, remains in captivity, with tribal sources saying his captors are members of Al-Qaeda.
It comes amid deadly fighting in northern Yemen between Sunni Islamists and Zaidi Shi’a rebels whom their opponents charge are receiving support from Shi’a Iran.
There has been a spate of attacks targeting foreigners in the Yemeni capital in recent months.
On 15 December, the Japanese consul was seriously wounded after being dragged from his car in Hadda and repeatedly stabbed.
On 26 November, gunmen killed one Belarussian defence contractor and wounded another as they left their Sanaa hotel.
And on 6 October, a German embassy guard was killed as he resisted an attempt to kidnap him.