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U.S. suspends embassy operations in Yemen

The State Department said “recent attacks against Western interests” prompted the decision

Published: Updated:

The United State temporarily suspended its embassy operations in Yemen on Wednesday, two days after gunmen shot dead a French security guard working with the European Union mission in the capital Sanaa.

“Due to recent attacks against Western interests in Yemen, we have temporarily suspended operations of our Embassy in Sana’a to the public. We continue to evaluate the security situation every day, and we will reopen the embassy to the public once it is deemed appropriate,” State Department Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement.

“Recent attacks against western interests and information we have received have given us enough concern to take this precautionary step,” Psaki added.

She said the United States remains committed to supporting Yemen enhance security through the transitional period.

Yemeni security forces on Wednesday killed a prominent Islamist militant suspected of masterminding attacks on Westerners, including the French security agent, the country's supreme security committee said.

Security forces also detained five al-Qaeda suspects and captured weapons in raids across the capital, the state news agency reported.

The announcements came as Yemeni forces pushed ahead with an offensive against al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its local offshoot, Ansar al-Sharia, having captured the militants' main stronghold in the south on Tuesday.