Two US officers shot and killed two armed civilians who tried to kidnap them last month in Yemen's capital, a State Department official said. The two Americans were removed from Yemen shortly after the shooting, the official added. \"We can confirm that, last month, two US Embassy officers in Yemen fired their weapons after being confronted by armed individuals in an attempted kidnapping at a small commercial business in Sanaa,\" deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said in a statement to AFP. Suspected Al-Qaeda militants attacked Yemen's presidential palace earlier Friday, killing five guards and triggering a fierce gunfight as the extremists hit back at the offensive.
A US congressional panel passed a bill that would impose sanctions on those responsible for human rights abuses against anti-government protesters in Venezuela. The House Foreign Affairs Committee's vote was met with applause from dozens of people who traveled to Washington from several US cities to pressure lawmakers, the White House, and the Organization of American States to take action against the crackdown. At least 42 people have died and hundreds of others have been injured since students and other opponents of President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government took to the streets in February to protest rampant crime, runaway inflation and shortages of basic goods. Committee Chairman Ed Royce, a Republican, was optimistic about the bill's prospects of passage by the full House.