Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Fun times in Yemen: Gunmen kidnap Saudi diplomat

Yemeni security forces secure a main road in the southern port of Aden following the seizure of Saudi Arabia's deputy consul by unknown gunmen outside his home in the southern city on March 28, 2012. Yemeni police were reported to have launched an investigation into the kidnapping and are actively searching for the diplomat as insecurity has plagued Yemen's mostly lawless southern region in the past year, with Al-Qaeda-linked militants overrunning several towns in Aden's neighbouring Abyan province in May. (Getty Images)
ADEN (Reuters) - Gunmen kidnapped Saudi Arabia's deputy consul from outside his residence in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden on Wednesday, a Yemeni security official said.

The gunmen snatched Abdallah al-Khalidi as he was about to get into his car and they sped off with him in another vehicle, police in the city's Mansoura district said.

Security in the country's second city, and in southern Yemen generally, has deteriorated during the political turmoil that began with mass protests against then-president Ali Abdullah Saleh in early 2011, and saw fighting among pro- and anti-Saleh factions of the military as well as tribal militias.

A Saudi foreign ministry spokesman confirmed the kidnapping, saying: "It happened this morning. The embassy already contacted the highest security authority in Yemen. They are investigating and trying to find out the reason."