SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Unknown gunmen in Yemen killed a foreign military expert and wounded his colleague in a drive-by shooting Tuesday in the capital, a Yemeni security official said. A Russian embassy spokesman says the two were Belarussian.
Colonel Mohammed al-Mawri of the Interior Ministry information department said two gunmen on a motorcycle shot the two Tuesday as they left their hotel in Sanaa's Benoun street.
He said the two are military experts working for Yemen's Defense Ministry. An investigation is underway and the ministry is also trying to determine the nationality of the two victims.
A spokesman for the Russian Embassy in Sanaa, Nikolai Lyagushin, told the Associated Press by phone that the two were Belarussian citizens who were working "on private contract."
The Belarussian Foreign Ministry, which has no embassy in Yemen and which says its interests there are represented by Russia, told Russian news agencies that they were still investigating the incident.
In a separate incident, two unknown gunmen assassinated an army major in drive-by attack in Sanaa's Kholan street.
A security official said the two assailants on a motorbike fired at Maj. Ahmed al-Jahdari and killed him instantly.
The official, speaking on condition of anonymity according to regulations, said al-Jahdari works as head of the training department at Sanaa police academy.
Yemen is fighting a war against al-Qaida's local branch, which Washington considers one of the world's most dangerous offshoots of the terror network.
The branch, also known as Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, regularly strikes security and military targets with drive-by shootings, suicide bombings and other attacks.
Laura Mills in Moscow contributed reporting