U.S. Embassy In Yemen Evacuated, U.K. Closing

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

The State Department has ordered the U.S. Embassy in Yemen evacuated as a result of the threat by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

A statement issued Tuesday says the department has ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government personnel from Yemen "due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks."

The travel warning says U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart and calls the security threat level in Yemen "extremely high."

A U.S. intelligence official and a Mideast diplomat told The Associated Press that the current shutdown was instigated by an intercepted secret message between al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahri and his deputy in Yemen about plans for a major terror attack.

Britain's Foreign Office says it has evacuated all staff from its embassy in Yemen due to increased security concerns.

The moves comes shortly after the U.S. State Department ordered non-essential personnel at the U.S. Embassy in Yemen to leave the country following the threat by al-Qaida that has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

The Foreign Office said the British embassy staff were "temporarily withdrawn to the U.K." on Tuesday. It declined to comment further.

Previously, the U.K. had said the embassy would be closed until the end of the Muslim festival of Eid later this week.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)


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