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German diplomat killed; UNICEF employee kidnapped in Sana’a

National Yemen

German diplomat killed; UNICEF employee kidnapped in Sana’a

By Asma al-Mohattwari

On Sunday October 6, a German diplomat was killed in the parking lot adjacent to the al-Jandool supermarket on Hadda Street in Sana’a by anonymous gunmen.

The diplomat, who had been shopping in the market, was killed while returning to his Mercedes armed vehicle parked in the lot.

According to an al-Jandool security guard, would-be kidnappers in a Santa Fe vehicle killed the diplomat after he refused to go with them. “After shopping with his friends, he was headed for his car when four men in a Santafe car tried to pull him inside their car. When he resisted them, they shot him,” the security guard said.  Other reports indicate the gun was equipped with a silencer.

Sources at the scene said that both the murdered diplomat and his associate, who was inside the Mercedes during the attack, were wearing Glock handguns in hip holsters. Neither man fired their weapon during the incident.

Al-Jandool typically has a team of armed guards stationed in a vehicle in the parking lot. According to a security guard at the scene, this team had been stationed in the lot when the kidnapping began, but fled the scene once they heard shooting.

Some sources have also suggested that the German ambassador was also present at the scene, further suggesting that she was saved from an attempted kidnapping during the incident. The German embassy has clarified that the ambassador is currently out of the country, but confirmed the death of an embassy staff member.

The German ambassador recently visited Aden, where she made a speech encouraging members of Herak, the southern secessionist movement, to accept the decisions and outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.

Security forces and military police arrived at the scene after the criminals escaped, and the al-Jandool supermarket is currently closed for investigations.

Officials in Yemen and abroad have spoken out condemning the attack.  Alistair Burt, a British Member of Parliament involved in Middle East affairs, published a tweet affirming that even such attacks will “not deter us from supporting Yemeni [people] who fight terrorism in all its forms”.

Also on Sunday, gunmen kidnapped a Sierra Leone citizen who works for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), The man was seized at gunpoint from a UN vehicle in northern Sanaa, the sources said, adding that his Yemeni the driver was not taken.  It is unknown whether these two events are related, or whether they bear any connection to the kidnapping of a foreign citizen three weeks ago in Sana’a.