Gunman Wounds Kazakh Red Cross Worker in Yemen

March 25, 2013 — 23:00
March 25, 2013 — 23:00

SANAA — An aid worker for the International Committee of the Red Cross from Kazakhstan was shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen in the Yemeni capital on Tuesday, a security official said.

"The foreign worker was in the car of an international organization when she was shot in one of Sanaa's streets," the official said, adding that the woman was in critical condition.

However, an ICRC spokeswoman in Geneva said the aid worker had not been seriously hurt.

Her nationality was initially given as Russian but Yemeni officials and the Russian Foreign Ministry later said that she was a citizen of Kazakhstan.

ICRC spokeswoman Dibeh Fakhr confirmed the shooting incident but said it was not clear whether its staff member had been wounded by a bullet or by shattered car window glass.

"The incident is under investigation. She is slightly injured and received medical attention. It is not life-threatening," Fakhr said.

"We don't know if the wound was caused by a bullet or by glass from the broken window. They were in a car," she added.

Asked whether the vehicle had been targeted, Fakhr said the independent aid agency was trying to clarify the circumstances of the incident and would not comment further until then.

Officials at the Russian Embassy in Sanaa and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said they had no information about the shooting of a Russian aid worker and were looking into it.

Yemen is awash with arms, and law and order is weak. The country is grappling with a powerful branch of Al-Qaida, armed tribesmen and an increasing secessionist sentiment in the south.

Yemen's stability is a priority for the United States and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes.

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