Yemen: Khaled al-Onizi, Saudi diplomat, killed in Sana'a


Looking over the ancient old city within the heart of Sana'a, the capital city of Yemen, on Aug. 16, 2010.


Brent Stirton

A Saudi military attaché and his bodyguard were shot dead by gunmen in Yemen's capital city Wednesday.

Khaled al-Onizi and his Yemeni bodyguard Mubarak Shaiban were attacked in the Bait Zabatan area, a suburb of Sana'a near the Hada district, the Yemen News Agency reported.

"Gunmen opened fire at the Saudi diplomat's car in a neighborhood in southern Sana’a, killing him and his Yemeni bodyguard," a security official told Reuters.

A Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the diplomat died in the attack.

According to the BBC, nations keep their embassies and diplomatic homes in Hada.

Unconfirmed reports say the assailants were disguised as central security force soldiers.

"Gunmen dressed in the central security forces' uniforms opened fire heavily at the car of the Saudi diplomat in Sana’a, causing it to flip over and killing him and his bodyguard," an anonymous source told AFP.

At least five gunmen fired more than 20 shots, CNN reported.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

According to CNN:

Yemen's security forces have been battling al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has been blamed for numerous attacks in the country.

The Yemeni government strongly condemned the killings, the Yemen News Agency reported.