UK and Germany to close embassies for two days over security

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Britain and Germany will close their embassies in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Sunday and Monday after the United States announced the temporary closure of two dozen embassies over fears of an Al-Qaeda attack, their foreign ministries said.

“The embassy will be closed on the 4th and 5th of August,” a British foreign ministry spokesman said on Friday. “We have withdrawn a number of staff from Sanaa, due to increased security concerns.”

He added: “We are particularly concerned about the security situation in the final days of Ramadan and into Eid.”

“The German embassy in Sanaa will remain closed Sunday and after tomorrow for security reasons,” a spokesman for the German foreign ministry told AFP on Saturday.

The United States had issued a worldwide alert on Friday warning of plans by Al-Qaeda to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa in August.

On Thursday, the U.S. State Department had announced that at least 22 U.S. embassies would close on Sunday as a precaution.

The State Department said attacks were possible “particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula.”

Britain’s foreign ministry updated its travel advice for Yemen on Friday to advise against all travel to the country and strongly advising British nationals to leave.

“Our travel advice advises particular vigilance during Ramadan, when tensions could be heightened,” the ministry spokesman said.

The German embassy website in Sanaa also pointed to updated foreign ministry warnings to German travellers that “the situation in the entire country is uncertain in the future.”

The ministry referred in particular to the risk of “terrorist attacks in certain isolated parts of the country but also in the capital Sanaa.”

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