Society

Armed Kidnappers Attack U.S. Officers, Learn A Valuable Lesson

| by Kathryn Schroeder

U.S. Officers in Yemen shot and killed two armed Yemeni Citizens who allegedly attempted to kidnap them.

The Officers, one a United States Special Operations commando and the other a Central Intelligence Agency officer, were in a barbershop in the capital city of Sana’a last month when the kidnapping attempt occurred.

“We can confirm that, last month, two U.S. Embassy officers in Yemen fired their weapons after being confronted by armed individuals in an attempted kidnapping at a small commercial business in Sana,” Marie Harf, a State Department spokeswoman told The New York Times in an email response to questions. “Two of the armed individuals were killed. The Embassy officers are no longer in Yemen.”

The two Americans tied to the United States Embassy were quickly removed from the Middle East nation following the shooting with the support of the Yemeni government.

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The barbershop is located in an upscale district of the city frequently visited by foreigners. There have been reports from American officials that the two men were merely getting a haircut, and not on an official assignment.

Mohammed Albasha, a spokesman for the Yemeni Embassy in Washington, said he is aware of the shooting but did not have information about “any US role in the matter or his government’s response to that role.”

The Yemeni news media reported the shooting days after it occurred, but attributed it to unknown gunmen.

CNN reports that the United States Embassy in Sana’a has suspended public services.

"Due to recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen, we have temporarily suspended operations of our Embassy in Sana'a to the public," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "We continue to evaluate the security situation every day, and we will reopen the embassy to the public once it is deemed appropriate."