SANAA, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- An Iranian diplomat who was shot by unknown gunmen died in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa on Saturday afternoon, Yemen's official Saba news agency said.
"The Iranian diplomat was killed on the spot in a terrorist attack on Saturday," Saba reported.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Qirbi condemned the attack, saying it was targeting the Yemen-Iran relationship, according to Saba.
Meanwhile, security sources told Xinhua that the Iranian diplomat died of wounds in hospital as the gunmen fired more than 10 shots against him.
"Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham announced that the Iranian diplomat who was shot by unknown assailants in Sanaa on Saturday has succumbed to his injuries," Iran's semi- official Fars News Agency reported Saturday.
A security official in the Yemeni interior ministry told Xinhua that unidentified gunmen shot at a car belonging to the Iranian embassy near the Iranian ambassador's residence in downtown Sanaa.
"The diplomat who is in charge of finance at the Iranian embassy in Sanaa was shot on Saturday afternoon by gunmen driving a car near a supermarket on the Hadda street in downtown the capital, about 100 meters north of the Iranian embassy," the official told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.
The gunmen fled the scene after firing more than 10 shots at the diplomat on the busy street in Sanaa, he added.
The diplomat has been transferred to the Saudi-German hospital to receive emergency treatment, he said.
The Yemeni police have set up checkpoints on roads leading to the Iranian embassy to search for the gunmen and launched a large- scale investigation into the incident, the official said.
He also told Xinhua that the attackers did not aim to kidnap the Iranian diplomat as it was expected, but killed him without hesitation, according to the witnesses.
An official at the Iranian embassy confirmed that one of the embassy staff was attacked.
No group has so far declared responsibility for the assassination.
Foreigners are frequently kidnapped or assassinated in Yemen where the security situation worsened after a political upheaval in 2011. On July 21, an Iranian diplomat was kidnapped in Sanaa and is still held hostage.
On Nov. 26, 2013, gunmen on a motorbike killed two Belorussians in Sanaa. In October, 2013, the militants assassinated a security staff of the German embassy in Sanaa after he forcibly resisted their kidnapping attempt, near the location where the Iranian diplomat was killed on Saturday.