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Gunmen shoot dead Saudi official, bodyguard in Yemen

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Gunmen shot dead a Saudi Arabian diplomat and his Yemeni bodyguard in the capital Sanaa, Yemeni security officials said on Wednesday.

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

The officials say the gunmen were wearing army uniforms. No further details were immediately available.

They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.

The incident is the latest attack on security forces in the country, though previous killings have targeted Yemeni officials.

A spokesman for the Saudi Foreign Ministry in Riyadh confirmed the killing of the diplomat, and said, according to Reuters, that 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.