4 Aug 2013

Embassies in Yemen to be closed

10:03 pm on 4 August 2013

The British embassy in Yemen is to shut temporarily and several other embassies have been told to be vigilant after a terrorism warning was issued by the United States.

The BBC reports the embassy in Sana'a will be closed on Sunday and Monday, as will the embassies of France and Germany.

The United States is to shut at least 21 embassies and consulates on Sunday.

A Foreign Office spokesman said the closure was a precautionary measure and would not say if it was due to a specific threat:

''We are particularly concerned about the security situation in the final days of Ramadan and into Eid."

The holy month of Ramadan ends next week.

Unlike the United States, Britain is keeping its embassies in Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates and Iraq open, but it has advised staff to exercise extra vigilance.

In a statement, the US state department said:

"Current information suggests that al-Qaeda and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond, and that they may focus efforts to conduct attacks in the period between now and the end of August."

The United States issued a global travel alert on Friday, saying al-Qaeda was planning attacks. The BBC reports Interpol issued a separate global security alert, citing jail breaks linked to al-Qaeda in nine countries.

Canada also said on Saturday it will close its mission in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.