A CIA officer and a U.S. Special Operations commando shot and killed two civilians who tried to kidnap them in Sana’a, Yemen two weeks ago, Eric Schmitt of The New York Times reports.
The pair, described by the State Department as U.S. Embassy officers, were quickly moved out of the country within days of the shooting.
It was unclear what the two American officers were doing at the barber shop where the apparent kidnapping attempt occurred, as American officials told The Times they were just getting a haircut and not engaged in any clandestine operation.
Still, the shooting brings to mind Raymond Davis, a contractor working for the CIA who shot and killed two men in Lahore, Pakistan in 2011. The incident strained the already-rocky relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan.
News of the Yemen attack comes amid an increase in violence in the region, seemingly in response to a major government offensive against strongholds held by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in the south.
The State Department announced it was suspending public services on Wednesday at its embassy in Sana’a as a “precautionary step,” according to CNN. And on Friday, a major gun battle erupted just outside the presidential palace, resulting in the deaths of four soldiers and three gunmen, Al Jazeera reported.
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