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Flip side of Benghazi: U.S. embassy staff kill al-Qaida attackers in Yemen

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While lawmakers feverishly debate the tragedy known as Benghazi, in which U.S. diplomatic staff including an ambassador were brutalized and murdered by Islamists, U.S. Embassy officials assigned to another Arab country that's become a hotbed for Islamic terrorists allegedly shot and killed two armed men after they attempted to abduct the Americans, according to a U.S. State Department report on Saturday.

The State Department spokeswoman, Marie Harf, claimed the firefight occurred in April in Yemen's capital city of Sanaa. News of the incident was kept under wraps to avoid endangering the other members of the U.S. Embassy's diplomatic and support staff.

Ms. Harf said in a State Department briefing statement, "We can confirm that, last month, two U.S. embassy officers in Yemen fired their weapons after being confronted by armed individuals in an attempted kidnapping at a small commercial business in Sanaa."

Two suspects believed to be jihadists were killed by the two Americans involved in the attempted kidnapping and those officers had been whisked out of Yemen, which is in a state of emergency as al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) battles government police, security and armed forces.

While the State Department has refused to identify the two Americans who successfully killed their attackers, analysts believe they are either current or former members of a military special forces unit.

As a result of this shooting incident and other al-Qaida attacks, the U.S. State Department ordered the closing of its Sanaa embassy to the public. It's not known if embassy security was beefed up or if the U.S. increased its armed personnel therein.

Since last month the Yemeni security forces have launched a number of attacks against AQAP, a group considered the most dangerous and most active group of Islamists in the country.

As reported on Saturday in an Examiner news story, al-Qaida attacks have taken their toll on Yemen's economy, especially the attacks against the oil pipeline.



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