- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 18, 2003

SANAA, Yemen, March 18 (UPI) — Three people, including a U.S. and a Canadian oil-field worker, were killed Tuesday by a Yemeni gunman who killed himself after shooting several co-workers.

The U.S. Embassy confirmed the incident that occurred in Safer, 16 miles east of Marib, in a field drilled by the American-owned Nabors company for Hunt Oil of Dallas. The gunman was identified as Naji Ahmad al-Kumain, who was also employed at the field.

Although anti-American sentiment is strong in Yemen and other Arab countries over U.S. policies, including Israel and Iraq, local observers did not rule out that the killings might have been motivated by personal reasons connected with work.

Yemen is considered a haven for anti-Western Islamist militants, including members of al-Qaida network headed by Osama bin Laden whose family is Yemeni in origin.

Since an attack in October 1990 on the destroyer USS Cole, in a Yemeni port that killed 17 sailors, the government of President Ali Abdallah Salih has stepped up pressure on militants, assisted by U.S. security forces.

Last November, the United States, using a Predator drone aircraft, fired a rocket that killed six suspected al-Qaida members traveling in a car in the Marib region. One of the six was under indictment in the United States for involvement in the Cole attack.

The previous month, militants attacked a French tanker off the Yemen coast.

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