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Saturday, 9 June, 2001, 20:42 GMT 21:42 UK
US embassy in Yemen partially shut
Yemeni police patrol in Sanaa
Concern over security in Yemen prompted the move
The United States is withdrawing some of its staff from its embassy in Yemen because of what it calls an increased terrorist threat to American citizens.

Embassy employees with what are described as non-emergency jobs have been authorised to leave, along with the families of embassy workers.


The department currently believes there is an increased terrorist threat to US citizens and interests in Yemen

US State Department
With immediate effect, public services have been suspended at the embassy in the capital, Sanaa, although emergencies will still be handled by telephone.

American citizens are advised to postpone trips to Yemen.

"The department currently believes there is an increased terrorist threat to US citizens and interests in Yemen," the State Department said in a statement.

"All Americans in Yemen should consider this information, review their personal security situations and take those actions they deem appropriate to ensure their safety," it added.

Suicide bomb

It was in the Yemeni port of Aden last October that an American destroyer, the USS Cole, was attacked by suicide bombers in a small boat.

US destroyer USS Cole
The USS Cole was attacked by suicide bombers last October
Seventeen members of the crew were killed.

Washington indicated that it believed that followers of the Saudi dissident, Osama bin Laden, may have been involved in that attack.

Last month, the State Department issued a warning to Americans worldwide about possible attacks from Osama bin Laden supporters, after a New York jury convicted four men over the bombing of US embassies in Africa in 1998.

The latest warning also referred to numerous kidnappings of foreigners in Yemen in the past few years.

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See also:

12 May 01 | Americas
US warns of bin Laden attacks
04 Dec 00 | Middle East
Yemen 'charges' USS Cole suspects
12 Oct 00 | Middle East
Blast holes US warship
27 Jan 99 | Middle East
Germans seized in Yemen
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