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Security guards from the EU Delegation in Sanaa attacked. 1 French killed (upd3)

(BRUSSELS2) A Frenchman was killed and another seriously injured by gunfire in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen early this Monday afternoon (May 5). According to our information, these people belonged to the team responsible for protecting the European Union delegation. Their driver, a Yemenite, was also injured in the action.

Automatic weapon fire

They were traveling – aboard an EU delegation vehicle, bearing diplomatic plates – in one of the streets of the embassy district of the capital, when they were “ attacked by unidentified and heavily armed people “, confirms a communicated from the security company, Argus security (based in Cyprus). (Editor's note: according to the photo released by AFP, their vehicle – a gray Hyundai – indeed bears numerous bullet marks). The injured agent was taken care of and “ currently being cared for He adds.

Sanaa, Yemen: Gunmen Attack

Today, May 5, 2014 at 14:00 p.m. in Sanaa, Yemen, Argus team (with two French nationals) protecting a diplomatic mission was attacked by unidentified heavily armed gunmen. We are deeply sad to announce the death of one of our colleague, while the other colleague has been seriously injured and is currently being treated.

French and European convictions

(UPDATE – 19:30 p.m.) The French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Laurent Fabius, reacted in the evening, expressing “ indignation and sadness " after " the assassination of a French national in Sanaa, victim of a shooting ". He has " condemned in the strongest terms these acts of violence " presenting the " condolences to families and loved ones ».

(UPDATE – 19:55 p.m.) The High Representative of the EU, Catherine Ashton, also condemned this assassination, recalling the objective of the European Union which is solely to facilitate economic development and the transition to democracy. “ Targeting people committed to this effort is a wicked and senseless act ” emphasizes the head of European diplomacy.

“I condemn in the strongest terms the killing today, in Sana'a, of a member of the team providing security to the EU Delegation and the wounding of two others. The EU's presence in Yemen aims only to assist the country in its transition to democracy and in its economic development. To target persons engaged in this effort is evil and senseless. I extend my condolences to the bereaved family and wish a full and speedy recovery to the other victims of the attack. The EU calls on the Government of Yemen to take all necessary measures to restore security in the country, without which no progress on other challenges facing Yemen will be possible. »

Deliberate targeting

(UPDATE Wednesday 7) According to the first indications of the investigation, the attack was not due to chance. It would be the subject of “meticulous targeting”. That is to say – in plain language – preparation and identification. The car – easily spotted because it bore diplomatic initials – was deliberately blocked in the street.

A former Rpima

(UPDATE 3 Sat 10) The deceased agent was a former member of the 3rd RPIMa – marine parachute infantry regiment – ​​from Carcassonne. Jean-Yves Socard had carried out his military service in the 6th RPIMa, at the end of 1982, as recounted by my colleague JD Merchet from Top secret and the daily Provence.fr. He then served in Reunion then in Beirut within the Multinational Security Force in Beirut (FMSB), at the time of the Drakkar attack. Then engaged in the 3rd RPIMa, he remained there for 20 years with, under his belt, several Opex including the Gulf and Kosovo. He was notably injured by a mine in the As Salman fort, during the French entry into Iraq (1991).

European balance sheet

According to the last balance sheet drawn up by B2, this is the 44th victim to have died on a diplomatic or defense mission on behalf of the European Union since the start of the common foreign policy in the 1990s.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

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