Germany's foreign ministry confirmed Monday that a security official at its embassy in Yemen has been killed but denied reports of an attempted kidnapping of its ambassador.
Earlier reports had said the envoy herself had been the target of a failed abduction attempt Sunday, but the foreign ministry then told AFP that Ambassador Carola Mueller-Holtkemper was outside the country at the time.
"We must unfortunately confirm that a German security official who was employed at the embassy in Sanaa was killed in Yemen," a German foreign ministry spokeswoman said in a statement Monday.
"Reports about an attempted abduction of the German ambassador are unfounded."
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemned what he called the "cruel act" against a "dedicated and valued" colleague.
Signup to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter!
"I agreed in a phone call with my Yemeni counterpart... extensive cooperation to shed light on the act," he told reporters.
He said a team of German experts would support the process and that Yemen's foreign minister had pledged the country's "full support" in the investigation.
On Sunday, a security official and witnesses said gunmen in a vehicle opened fire and shot dead the ambassador's bodyguard as he was leaving a store in the southern Hada district, where foreign embassies are located.
"The foreign ministry and embassy are in contact with all relevant services as well as with the Yemeni authorities and aim to clarify the circumstances and background of the act," the foreign ministry spokeswoman said.
Germany was among several Western countries, including the United States, which closed their embassies in August after US warnings of an Al-Qaeda attack.