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Gunman wounds foreign Red Cross worker in Yemen

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 26 Mar 2013 15:03 GMT
Author: Reuters
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(Changes nationality from Russian to Kazakh)

SANAA, March 26 (Reuters) - 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 victim was in an ICRC car when she was shot in a street in Sanaa, the official said.

He said she was in critical condition but an ICRC spokeswoman in Geneva said the aid worker was not seriously hurt.

Her nationality was initially given as Russian but Yemeni officials and the Russian Foreign Ministry said later 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.

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

Asked if the vehicle had been targeted, Fakhr said the independent aid agency was trying to clarify the circumstances of the incident.

Yemen is awash with arms and law and order is weak. The country is grappling with a powerful branch of al Qaeda, armed tribesmen and 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. (Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Additional reporting by Steve Gutterman in Moscow and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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