Saudi diplomat shot dead in Yemen by gunmen disguised as soldiers
November 29, 2012 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
An official at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Yemen has been shot dead along with this Yemeni bodyguard by a group of gunmen disguised as government security forces. According to television station al-Arabiya, which is owned by the Saudi government, the diplomat and his bodyguard were killed on Wednesday when their car was “raked with gunfire” in the heart of Yemeni capital Sana’a. Later in the day, the incident was confirmed by the Kingdom’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which identified the assassinated diplomat as Sergeant Khaled Shobeikan al-Anzi. IntelNews understands that al-Anzi worked as an aide to the Military Attaché at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Sana’a. There are rumors, however, that his diplomatic credentials may have been a cover for his intelligence work for Al-Mukhabarat Al-A’amah, Saudi Arabia’s military intelligence agency. Sources in Yemen report that the attack took place in Haddah, one of Sana’a’s more exclusive districts, which houses the majority of foreign embassies and diplomatic compounds in the capital. It is also worth noting that the assailants were reportedly “dressed in the uniforms of [Yemen’s] Central Security Organization”, a 50,000-strong National Guard-type force that operates under the direction of the Ministry of the Interior. Wednesday’s assassination of the Saudi diplomat is the latest incident in a series of attacks against diplomatic targets in Sana’a, which have included employees in the British and American embassies there. In late March of this year, Islamist militants kidnapped Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Consul in Yemen’s southern port city of Aden, who remains in captivity. No group has claimed responsibility for al-Anzi’s killing, but most previous recent attacks against Saudi government targets in Yemen have been carried out by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Saudi forces have conducted several incursions into Yemeni territory in recent years, reportedly with Sana’a’s permission, in order to combat tribal insurgents who are often joined by Islamist-inspired fighters of all kinds. Many Saudi Islamists are reported to have crossed into Yemen in an effort to join AQAP-supported groups. Many view this escalating conflict as a critical proxy war between, on the one side, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, the United States and Israel, and on the other side, Saudi Shiites, Iran, Hezbollah, pro-Islamists in Yemen’s security services, as well as Shiite mujahedeen from Somalia, Pakistan, Sudan, and elsewhere.