France closes Yemen embassy

January 4, 2010 12:00 am

, PARIS, Jan 4 – France has closed its embassy in Yemen after threats from a local branch of Al-Qaeda, the French foreign ministry said Monday, following a similar move by the United States and Britain.

"On January 3, our ambassador decided to no longer authorise public access to the premises of our diplomatic mission," spokesman Bernard Valero told reporters.

He said French citizens in the country had been warned to remain vigilant and to limit their movements.

Yemeni forces have tightened security around the airport and foreign embassies in the capital Sanaa amid fears of strikes by an Al-Qaeda branch linked to a botched attack on a US airliner.

The US and British embassies in Sanaa have been shut since Sunday for what they said were reasons of security.

US President Barack Obama has accused the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) of arming and training a Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a Detroit-bound Northwest Airlines jet on Christmas Day.

AQAP claimed responsibility for the failed attack and called for strikes on embassies in Yemen.


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