Yemeni Embassy denies diplomatic involvement in antiquities trading

The Yemeni Embassy in Cairo on Tuesday denied reports suggesting the involvement of Ambassador Abdullah Shamiri in antiquities trading in Assiut, 400 km south of Cairo, sources said.

According to several Egyptian news reports, Shamiri went to Assiut last week to buy an antique piece from a local university professor, who allegedly colluded with thugs to mug Shamiri and steal both his piece and money.

Shamiri accused those Egyptians involved of attempting to kill him. The stolen money, according to the ambassador, was meant to pay tuition fees for Yemeni students studying at Assiut University.

The embassy denounced what it called “those false rumors," concerning the trading accusations, and said the stolen amounts amounted to US$28,000 and LE40,000.

An armed group reportedly fired at Shamiri’s car at the northern entrance of the city to stop it, but officers of the armed forces, who were present at the location, managed to rescue the ambassador.

Yemeni officials also urged the media to be "careful” in their coverage in an effort to maintain strong bilateral relations.

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