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Middle east

French national shot dead in Yemeni capital Sanaa

© Afp

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-05-05

A French national was shot and killed and another was wounded in the Hada diplomatic quarter of the Yemeni capital on Monday after unidentified gunmen opened fire, FRANCE 24's correspondent in Sanaa said.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius confirmed that a French security worker employed by the EU mission in Yemen had been killed and that another was seriously wounded.

Westerners have frequently been attacked in Yemen, an impoverished US-allied country fighting qn Islamist insurgency, a secessionist movement in the south and a Shiite Muslim rebellion in the north.

Al Qaeda-linked militants have repeatedly attacked government officials and military installations over the past two years.

The insurgents were emboldened by a decline in government control over the country during protests that eventually ousted longtime leader Ali Abdullah Saleh. They seized several southern cities before being driven out themselves in 2012.

Al Qaeda militants have killed hundreds of Yemeni soldiers and members of the security forces in a series of attacks since an ongoing offensive – which the United States has supported with intelligence and drones – drove them out of their strongholds.

Washington regards al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP, as the jihadist network's most dangerous affiliate and has stepped up its drone strikes against the group.

Sanaa's diplomatic quarter is no stranger to unrest. A mortar shell was fired in the direction of the French embassy and a car bomb exploded just metres away from the neighbourhood in February.

In January, an Iranian diplomat was killed in a drive-by shooting in the capital.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP and REUTERS)

Date created : 2014-05-05

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