Yemeni investigators have found links between the gunmen who assassinated a Saudi diplomat in Sanaa last week and Al-Qaeda.
“Investigators in Sanaa have discovered the organization responsible for the murder of the Saudi diplomat Khaled Al-Anezi and his Yemeni articlebodyguard Galal Shayban in Sanaa on Wednesday and the place where the murderers fled to,” Al-Madinah daily quoted an official of the Yemeni Interior Ministry as saying.
However, the official, who did not want his name published, refused to give details of the investigation for fear it may adversely affect it.
“The preliminary investigations discovered that the assassins have gone to Al-Maareb region in the east of the country and that they have links with the terror outfit called Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),” the official said, adding that the culprits fled right after their murder to the Al-Wadi in Maareb and are still there.
AQAP has denied it masterminded the murder of the Saudi diplomat, according to a Yemeni journalist Abdul Razaq Al-Jamal, a specialist on terrorist operations.
“Al-Qaeda said it did not have any relation with Wednesday’s operations in which unidentified gunmen sprayed bullets on the car carrying Al-Anezi,” Al-Jamal quoted an Al-Qaeda source as saying.
It was also rumored that the gunmen escaped in a car owned by a judge.
Al-Jamal added that Al-Qaeda’s denial deepened the mystery because it signified the presence of other assassin groups that undertake operations for different reasons. His fear was also founded on the fact that the number of murders in Sanaa was on the increase in recent times with no one, including Al-Qaeda, claiming responsibility.
According to a former official of the Yemeni Interior Ministry, Houthi rebels are tryig to sour relations between Yemen and its neighbors with provocative actions.
In south Yemen, Al-Qaeda militants are still holding the Saudi deputy consul in Aden, Abdullah Al-Khalidi. He was abducted on March 28. His kidnappers have demanded ransom and freedom for female prisoners.
The Yemeni government has offered a reward of 5 million Yemeni rials for information leading to the killers of Al-Anezi.
The diplomat was gunned down while going to his office in the Hada district that houses foreign embassies and diplomatic missions. Witnesses said the gunmen were following the diplomat in a vehicle.
A Saudi diplomat was killed in Dhaka, Bangladesh in March this year.