Berlin confirms embassy security official killed in Yemen

BERLIN (AFP) - The German foreign ministry confirmed on Monday that a security official at its embassy in Yemen has been killed but denied reports of an attempted kidnapping of its ambassador.

"We must unfortunately confirm that a German security official who was employed at the embassy in Sanaa was killed in Yemen," a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said in a statement about Sunday's incident.

"Reports about an attempted abduction of the German ambassador are unfounded," she added.

An earlier report had said the ambassador herself had been the target of a failed kidnap attempt, but the foreign ministry told AFP that Ambassador Carola Mueller-Holtkemper was outside the country at the time.

On Sunday, a security official and witnesses said gunmen in a vehicle opened fire and shot dead the ambassador's bodyguard as he was leaving a store in the southern Hada district, where foreign embassies are located.

"The foreign ministry and embassy are in contact with all relevant services as well as with the Yemeni authorities and aim to clarify the circumstances and background of the act," the foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

Germany was among several Western countries, including the United States, which closed their embassies in August after US warnings of an Al-Qaeda attack.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.