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Middle East
US ups security after Yemen attack
The security situation prompts Washington to pull out non-essential workers.
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2008 12:27 GMT
Protests against government policies continue in the south of the country [AFP]
The US embassy in Yemen says it has been ordered by the state department to remove non-essential personnel, following an attack on a residential complex housing Westerners working for the state-owned Safer oil company.

The Jund Al-Yemen Brigades, an arm of al-Qaeda, said it carried out the attack on Sunday in Sanaa, the capital.
Three rockets were fired into the compound, but no casualties were reported.
 
Seven people were arrested in connection with the attack, including Abdullah al-Rimi, an alleged al-Qaeda operative, security officials said.


An online statement issued by the embassy on Tuesday, said: "Following the attack on the US embassy on March 18 and the April 6 attack on the Hadda residential compound in Sanaa, the department of state has ordered the departure of non-emergency embassy staff and family members from Yemen.

"Embassy employees are not authorised to travel outside of Sanaa and have been advised to avoid hotels, restaurants, and tourist areas and to strictly limit their exposure in public places until further notice."

The March 18 attack refers to an incident where mortar shells were fired at the embassy, killing a child and a policeman.

More than a dozen people were wounded.

'Exercise caution'

The statement also urged Americans living in Yemen to "exercise caution and take prudent security measures, including maintaining a high level of vigilance, avoiding crowds and demonstrations, keeping a low profile, varying times and routes for all travel".
 
Sunday's attack was the latest to hit Yemen, amid a deteriorating security situation in which government forces are struggling to contain internal unrest.

Last week, demonstrations were staged by thousands of former army officers, political activists and unemployed men who have accused the government of discrimination and unequal treatment.
Source:
Agencies
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