SANAA, Yemen — An employee of the German embassy in Yemen's capital was shot to death Sunday in what is being reported as a failed kidnapping attempt of the German ambassador.
Agence France Press, citing an unnamed source, reported the slaying occurred during an attempt to kidnap the German ambassador. Yemeni security forces said the German employee was shot dead while leaving a supermarket in Sanaa.
"There was an attempt to kidnap Ambassador Carola Muller-Holtkemper as she came out of a store in Hada," a southern Sanaa district where foreign embassies are located, the AFP source said.
"The ambassador escaped but her bodyguard was killed as he tried to resist the attackers who managed to flee," added the source, who spoke to AFP on the condition of anonymity.
A spokeswoman for the foreign ministry in Berlin said only that the government could not yet confirm the incident, but was "making intensive efforts to clear up the facts.”
The employee had been working on the embassy's security team, Reuters news service reported. The victim was gunned down in Sanaa's Hadda district, where the embassy is also based.
"He was leaving the market to go to his vehicle," one source told Reuters, adding that the attack bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida's Yemeni branch.
Yemen is struggling to curb one of the most active branches of al-Qaida, known as al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which has attempted to attack several Western targets, including airliners.
Germany was one of several Western countries to close their Yemen embassies in early August after a U.S. warning of a possible major militant attack in the Middle East. The mission reopened after a two-week closure.
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