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Britain suspends embassy operations in Yemen

British soldiers/FILE

British soldiers/FILE

London, Feb 11 – Britain has pulled its ambassador and other staff out of Yemen and suspended work at its embassy due to fears over the security situation, officials said Wednesday.

The move comes after the US said it was closing its embassy indefinitely and evacuating staff after a Shiite Muslim militia which took power last year warned against attempts to destabilise the country.

Britain’s Foreign Office in London said operations at its embassy had been suspended “temporarily”.

“The security situation in Yemen has continued to deteriorate over recent days,” Tobias Ellwood, the Foreign Office minister with responsibility for the Middle East, said.

“Regrettably we now judge that our embassy staff and premises are at increased risk.

“We have therefore decided to withdraw diplomatic staff and temporarily suspend the operations of the British Embassy in Sana’a.

“Our ambassador and diplomatic staff have left Yemen this morning and will return to the UK.”

Yemen has been unstable since longtime president Ali Abdullah Saleh stepped down in 2012 after a year-long popular uprising.

It is battling an Al-Qaeda insurgency and facing a separatist movement in the south.

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