Sunday, May 13, 2012

Yemen: Bulgarian Ambassador Evades Kidnappers, Fired Upon, Injured

Bulgarian ambassador to Yemen Boris Borisov and his wife escaped an attempted kidnap ping on Saturday (May 12) in the capital of Sana'a  while driving in a diplomatic vehicle WITHOUT the benefit of a security detail.

The attempted abduction occurred at approximately 1700 hours local time when a pick-up truck driven by a number of gunmen attempted to block the diplomat's vehicle.

The gunmen subsequently attempted to drag the diplomat out of his vehicle, all the while hitting him about the face and arms, but at one juncture the ambassador was able to drive his vehicle off, as the gunmen fired at his vehicle, whereby Borisov was injured.

COMMENT: As a result of the attack, Borisov and his wife will return to Sofia for consultations. The diplomat has served as chargé d'affaires in Yemen since 2008 and was appointed ambassador and only in the last week did he present his credentials.

In view of a number of high-profile kidnappings in Yemen, as well as the kidnapping of a Saudi diplomat in March, who continues to be held by al-Qaeda in exchange for comrades who have been imprisoned, Ambassador Borisov and his wife should never have left the safety of their residence  or the chancery without a trained, experienced and heavily armed protective security detail.

Although Borisov and his wife were fortunately able to escape the attempted kidnapping, escape is generally not recommended largely because of the high-risk of being shot and killed, particularly in Yemen, where life has very little value.