German 'embassy guard shot dead' in Yemen

Policemen and ambulance personnel gather outside a supermarket after a shooting in Sanaa Police and ambulance personnel gathered at the scene in Sanaa

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A German embassy employee in Yemen has been shot dead, reports say.

The attack took place outside a supermarket in the capital's Hadda district, where the German and other foreign embassies are located.

The victim - reported to be a bodyguard of Ambassador Carola Mueller-Holtkemper - has not been named. German officials say they are checking the reports.

Yemen is struggling to control general lawlessness, an al-Qaeda insurgency, and divisions within the army.

Initial reports suggested that the attack was a failed kidnapping attempt of Germany's ambassador.

"The ambassador escaped but her bodyguard was killed as he tried to resist the attackers who managed to flee," AFP news agency quoted an unnamed diplomatic source as saying.

However, the agency later quoted a Yemeni foreign ministry spokesman as saying that Ms Mueller-Holtkemper was "currently outside the country".

The German foreign ministry told the BBC it could not confirm any of the reports.

Germany - along with several other Western countries - briefly closed its Yemen embassy in August, after the US warned of a potential major militant attack in the Middle East.

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