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Iranian diplomat killed in Yemen

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By The Associated Press
Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 7:27 p.m.

SANAA, Yemen — Gunmen killed an Iranian diplomat in a drive-by shooting in Yemen's capital Saturday, security and medical officials said, the latest attack on Iran's diplomatic corps in the Middle East in recent months.

Iranian state television announced that Ali Asghar Asadi, Iran's economic attaché in Sanaa, was “martyred.” The broadcast said Asadi was attacked while driving and suffered four gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach. It did not elaborate.

Three Yemeni security officials said Asadi was leaving the Iranian ambassador's house in the city's southern Hadda neighborhood when assailants opened fire. They said he died in a hospital. A medical official confirmed the diplomat's death.

Another Yemeni security official said the diplomat suffered three gunshot wounds to the chest and shoulder. The two accounts of the shooting could not be immediately reconciled, though conflicting information is common immediately after such attacks.

The official said the initial investigation suggested the gunmen first attempted to kidnap the diplomat by stopping his car. When the diplomat resisted, the assailants shot him and fled the area, which is a busy commercial district, the official said.

All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to journalists.

Relations between Iran and Yemen have soured over what Sanaa calls Iranian meddling in its domestic affairs.

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