Two officers at the US Embassy in Yemen shot and killed a pair of armed Yemeni civilians who were attempting to abduct them last month, said the State Department on Friday.
The officers have left Yemen, said Marie Harf, a spokeswoman for the State Department in a statement.
Citing unidentified US officials, The New York Times reported that the Americans were a Central Intelligence Agency officer and a lieutenant colonel with the elite Joint Special Operations Command who were visiting a barber shop in an upscale district in Yemen’s capital Sana’a.
Within days of the shooting, both officers left Yemen with the approval of the Yemeni government, the newspaper reported. It said the shooting occurred on April 24.
Earlier this week, the US Embassy in Sana’a closed temporarily because of attacks on Westerners.
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A day before Tuesday’s closure, gunmen opened fire on three French security guards working with the European Union mission in the Yemeni capital, killing one and wounding another.
The U.S. has waged a heavy campaign of drone strikes in Yemen against the group Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
This month, the Yemeni government has been waging an offensive against the militant group, and violence around the country has been on an upswing.
On Friday, gunmen believed to be Al-Qaeda militants, ambushed the motorcade of Yemen’s Defense Minister in the Mahfad region but the assassination attempt failed,said officials.