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Parents: Slain American went to Yemen to learn Arabic, enjoyed teaching business skills
HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) ' The parents of an American shot to death in Yemen say he went there in 2009 to learn Arabic, not to proselytize, and became passionate about teaching business skills to Yemenis.
Jim and Lynda Shrum said Monday that their 29-year-old son, Joel, had Muslim friends and that he respected their religion.
The Shrums say they fear for the safety of Joel's widow, two young sons and friends there.
The International Training Development Centre in Taiz, where Joel Shrum worked, also denies that he was proselytizing.
A text message circulated by mobile phone in Yemen said "holy warriors" had killed "a senior missionary," but it was impossible to confirm the claim of responsibility. Shrum was killed Sunday by two gunmen on a motorcycle.
Taiz police say an investigation is ongoing.