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Unidentified gunmen fatally wound Iranian diplomat in Yemen

An Iranian diplomat has died of his wounds in Yemen. Unidentified assailants shot the envoy, whose identity has not yet been disclosed, as he was leaving the ambassador's house in the capital city of Sanaa.

A medical official confirmed on Saturday that an Iranian diplomat, shot earlier in the day, had died of his wounds after being brought to the hospital.

"He was taken to the operating theater then transferred to intensive care, but died after an hour and a half," a medic at Sanaa's Modern German hospital said.

The attack occurred in Sanaa's southern neighborhood of Hadda on Saturday. Unidentified gunmen opened fire in a drive-by shooting on the Iranian diplomat as he was leaving the ambassador's home. There has been no claim of responsibility for the attack.

A spokesperson for the Iranian Foreign Ministry told the Fars news agency that assailants had attempted to kidnap the envoy, according to Reuters news agency.

"We are seriously following up the dimensions of this terrorist action with the relevant Yemeni government officials," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham said.

In July, gunmen kidnapped Iranian citizen Nour Ahmad Nikbakht in the Yemeni capital. The Iranian national, who was also an employee of the country's embassy, remains in captivity.

The violence comes amid heightened sectarian violence between Shiite Muslims and Sunni Islamists in Yemen's northern region.

kms/hc (AP, AFP, Reuters)