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Two U.S. embassy officers involved in Yemen firefight

APTOPIX Mideast Yemen

(Reuters) - Two U.S. embassy officers shot and killed two armed people after an attempted abduction in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in April, the State Department said on Saturday.

"We can confirm that, last month, two U.S. embassy officers in Yemen fired their weapons after being confronted by armed individuals in an attempted kidnapping at a small commercial business in Sanaa," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement.

Two people were killed and the Americans involved are no longer in Yemen, she said without elaborating.

Security sources in the Yemeni capital said closed circuit television footage showed the Americans at a barber shop when two armed men disguised as security personnel entered and the confrontation ensued.

The footage showed two Yemenis on the floor when it was over, the sources said.

The New York Times reported Friday that a U.S. Special Operations commando and a CIA officer shot and killed two armed Yemenis who tried to kidnap them in a barber shop in Sanaa.

The paper, quoting two unidentified senior U.S. officials, said the two Americans were whisked out of the country days after the shooting, with the blessing of the Yemeni government.

Citing recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen, the United States this week closed its embassy in Sanaa to the public.

On Friday, suspected al Qaeda-linked gunmen attacked Yemen's presidential palace and tried to kill the defense minister in his car, selecting high profile targets in apparent reprisal for the army's biggest push against militants in nearly two years.

Since late April, the Yemen government has stepped up its campaign against the Yemeni group considered al Qaeda's most active unit, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), driving it from some of its strongholds in the south.

The push followed air strikes against AQAP in April that the government said had killed at least 55 militants, the biggest against al Qaeda since at least 2012.

Washington sees Yemen as one of the main battlefields in its global campaign against Islamic militants.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington and Maha El Dahan in Abu Dhabi; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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Floymin May 10 2014 at 8:29 PM

The warmongering armchair generals on this forum have no idea what civilian casualties does to America's image. Even Republican politicians know that diplomacy always comes first, even at the price of losing our soldiers.
Here's the reality:
Anyone who would have the capital to buy everything necessary to move against the will of every NATO nation probably would be too busy to be on this forum, anyway.

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1 reply
lakearcher Floymin May 10 2014 at 9:31 PM

civilian casualities do, not does

Flag Reply 0 rate up
YourFtr May 10 2014 at 9:48 PM

The Democrats want to take away everybody's guns ; so you can't defend yourselves..

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
mary kay and tp YourFtr May 10 2014 at 10:46 PM

you are comparing a well trained commando in a theater of war to joe trailer trash? that is a false equivalency

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YourFtr May 10 2014 at 9:50 PM

Hopefully the Liberals won't leak their identities; so another hit might get them;
like seal team six.

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Buckingham's May 10 2014 at 9:51 PM

Yemen should be turned into a glassified parking lot.

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kensucharski May 10 2014 at 10:07 PM

Add extra security at the embassy?

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ltpar May 10 2014 at 10:19 PM

Never send amateurs to challenge professionals. That's what most terrorists are and they ae no match for our people, that is wassuming they are not shot in the back. Justice was served in this case and two Muslims discovered there were no "Virgins" waiting for them on the other side.

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1 reply
folders ltpar May 10 2014 at 10:47 PM

The only thing waiting for them is their lovers - a couple of old goats and and camel they call Sweetheart and Love of My Life

Flag Reply +3 rate up
magoo49 May 10 2014 at 10:25 PM

WHY ARE WE THERE ??????????????????????????????????KILL THEM ALL AND LET GOD SORT THEM OUT..............OH NO I'M POLOTICALY INCORRECT ..........I SAID GOD .I'M SORRY.

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gurar May 10 2014 at 10:27 PM

Well, they had to defend themselves, since there's no point in calling Barry for help when he's got a fund-raiser scheduled.

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2 replies
dja137 gurar May 10 2014 at 11:02 PM

Were you also angry at Bush, when he invaded Iraq without enought troops to control the country, and got 4,000 of our sons and daughters killed, and tens of thousands maimed for life, out of pure stupidity and arogance. Just wondering if you thought he was a great guy?

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5 replies
tippy301 gurar May 11 2014 at 1:34 AM

During the Carter administration, we knew we would have to bring our own bullets. History repeats itself. Sorry Benghazi didn't get the memo. Obama's a hundred times worse; pouring gas on a fire & setting fire to North Africa.

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kitejkoch May 10 2014 at 11:05 PM

Only one American Diplomat and one American citizen was killed during W's watch. An Ambassador and three other Americans were killed on obama's watch who then LIED about the circumstances surrounding the deaths! And for the sake of saying...I despise any ASS that surrenders their HONOR and their LOYALTY to a political party of any kind! I swore an oath to uphold and abide by the US Constitution!!

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3 replies
barack_obama16 May 10 2014 at 11:05 PM

SHOOT FIRST. NEVER ASK ANYTHING.
JUST GRAB THE BODY BAGS

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