Iranian diplomat seriously injured after
attack in Yemen
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[January 18, 2014]
SANAA (Reuters) — Gunmen fired shots
at a car belonging to the Iranian embassy near the ambassador's
residence in Yemen's capital Sanaa on Saturday, seriously wounding a
diplomat, security sources said.
The ambassador was not in the car at the time of the attack, the
Arabic news channel Al Jazeera said a diplomat was killed, but
security sources told Reuters he was in a serious condition after
The gunmen fled, and there was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Iran is the leading Shi'ite Muslim power in the Middle East, and its
diplomatic missions in the Arab world have occasionally been
targeted as sectarian violence spreads in the region.
Sectarian rivalry between Shi'ite Muslim Houthis and
ultra-conservative Sunni Salafis has increased in northern Yemen in
the last several months, with at least 210 people killed.
The violence erupted on October 30 when Houthi rebels, who control
much of the northern Saada province, accused Salafis in the town of
Damaj of recruiting thousands of foreign fighters to prepare to
Fighting between the two sides in Saada and adjacent provinces
stopped as a ceasefire deal took hold a week ago.
That deal gave the Salafis four days to relocate about 250 km (150
miles) southwest to the Red Sea port of Hudaida.
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Yemen said it started moving a group of Salafis out of their
northern stronghold on Tuesday.
The sectarian rivalry has cast a shadow over reconciliation efforts
in Yemen, a U.S.-ally that is home to one of the most active wings
of the Sunni militant force al Qaeda.
The country, in turmoil since a popular uprising ousted president
Ali Abdullah Saleh in 2011, is also facing southern secessionists
and an economic crisis.
(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; writing by Maha El Dahan;
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