December 22, 2014
Frenchman working for the EU shot dead in Yemen
A French security agent working for the European Union (EU) mission was shot dead in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and second French national was injured as well as a yemeni citizen, as the army waged an offensive against al Qaeda in the south of the country.
"We have learnt with indignation and sadness of the death of a French national in Sanaa, victim of a shooting while on mission for the European Union delegation in Yemen," French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said in a statement today. "France strongly condemns this act."
Earlier today, a spokesman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said the EU confirmed there had been "a security incident in Sanaa involving contractors working for the EU delegation".
The Yemeni security sources said unidentified gunmen, who had been driving a four-by-four car without licence plates, blocked the diplomatic vehicle in which the Frenchman was travelling in the centre of Sanaa and opened fire, killing the security agent and injuring a second Frenchman as well as the Yemeni driver.
Westerners have frequently been attacked in Yemen, an impoverished US-allied country fighting Islamist militancy, southern secessionists, tribal conflicts and a Shi'ite Muslim rebellion in the north.
The country is home to Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which authorities have blamed for a string of attacks on security forces and foreigners.
Last week the Yemeni army launched an offensive to drive al Qaeda and its allies out of their strongholds in two southern provinces. That came after a series of air strikes, believed led by US drones, that killed some 65 militants last month.