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Russia's Foreign Ministry has confirmed its ambassador in Yemen was not shot and killed. Unconfirmed reports said Vladimir Dedushkin was shot in Sanaa on Saturday (14 January).

After IBTimes UK contacted the Russian Foreign Ministry, a spokesman for the office said they have made contact with the ambassador and as such, the initial reports were false.

Dedushkin has been "keeping a close eye" in war-torn Yemen, where Saudi Arabia has waged a bombing campaign against Iran-backed Houthis.

Last February, in an interview with Russia's TASS news agency, Dedushkin said: "The war in Yemen has created fertile ground for the growth of activity of terrorist groups of every stripe and colour.

"According to incoming reports, the extremist groups that have mushroomed on the vast areas of the country's eastern and southern parts are not only replenished with gunmen from Syria.

"They are even trying to use the experience of Syrian smugglers to illegally export oil and oil products from Yemen."

On 19 December, Russia's ambassador to Turkey Andrey Karlov was gunned down by police officer Mevlut Mert Altintas in Ankara.

Following the death, Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly said ambassadors will need a higher level of protection to be arranged "in certain countries," but it is not clear if any further action was taken.

Dedushkin was appointed by Putin on 16 August 2013 and replaced the outgoing Sergei Kozlov.