Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Yemen: Saudi Military Attaché, Bodyguard Gunned Down in Capital

According to Reuters, Yemeni officials report that a Saudi military attaché as well as his Yemeni bodyguard were gunned down and killed in the capital of Sana'a early on Wednesday (November 28).

The attaché was assigned to the Saudi Embassy in the capital. The assailants opened fired upon the two victims with automatic weapons, who were traveling in the diplomat's vehicle. Elements of al-Qaeda are suspected. The attack occurred in Hada, the city's diplomatic enclave.

Meanwhile, Saudi Deputy Consul Abdullah al-Khalidi remains a hostage, after being kidnapped back on March 28, some eight months ago. It is unknown as to when the Saudis last confirmed that the consul was alive.

COMMENT: Tactically, it makes little sense for Saudi diplomats to be afforded a single protective escort, considering that almost all kidnappings and assassinations are conducted by multiple gunmen.

Quite frankly, a lone bodyguard cannot be expected to repel an armed attack when he is simultaneously serving as a driver of the diplomat. The end result is that two people lose their lives instead of one, particularly in a high-risk environment such as Yemen.