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Gunman wounds Russian Red Cross worker in Yemen

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

SANAA (Reuters) - A Russian aid worker working for the International Committee of the Red Cross was shot and wounded by unidentified gunmen in the Yemeni capital on Tuesday, a security official said.

"The foreign worker was in the car of an international organisation when she was shot in one of Sanaa's streets," the official said, adding that the woman was in critical condition.

However, an ICRC spokeswoman in Geneva said the aid worker had not been seriously hurt. She confirmed the shooting incident but said it was not clear whether its staff member had been wounded by a bullet or by shattered car window glass.

"The incident is under investigation. She is slightly injured and received medical attention. It is not life-threatening," ICRC spokeswoman Dibeh Fakhr told Reuters.

"We don't know if the wound was caused by a bullet or by glass from the broken window. They were in a car," she added.

Asked if the vehicle had been targeted, Fakhr said the independent aid agency was trying to clarify the circumstances of the incident and would not comment further until then.

Officials at the Russian embassy in Sanaa and the Foreign Ministry in Moscow said they had no information about the shooting of a Russian aid worker and were checking.

Yemen is awash with arms and law and order is weak. The country is grappling with a powerful branch of al Qaeda, armed tribesmen and an increasing secessionist sentiment in the south.

Yemen's stability is a priority for the United States and its Gulf Arab allies because of its strategic position next to oil exporter Saudi Arabia and shipping lanes.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Additional reporting by Steve Gutterman in Moscow and Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Mahmoud Habboush; Editing by Alistair Lyon)

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130326/russian-red-cross-worker-shot-yemen-security-source