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France - Yemen

France closes embassy in Yemen until Wednesday

French embassy in Sanaa, Yemen.
French embassy in Sanaa, Yemen. DR/Ambassade de France au Yémen

France will close its embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa until Wednesday after the United States and Britain also extended the closure of missions because of fears of a terrorist attack by Al-Qaeda.

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French President François Hollande announced the embassy’s closure on Saturday after intelligence suggested a heightened risk of an Al-Qaeda attack.

Hollande also warned French expatriates in Yemen to remain on high alert.

Britain will keep its mission shut until Thursday.

The United States will keep 19 embassies in the Middle East and North Africa closed until Saturday.

The US State Department stressed that the decision was due “out of an abundance of caution”, and not in response to a new threat.

The United States said there was evidence to suggest that Al-Qaeda militants were planning an attack this month, and issued a travel alert to its citizens as a result.

This week coincides with the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

On Saturday, Interpol called on its 190 member states to be on heightened alert after a series of jail breaks in nine countries, including Iraq, Libya and Pakistan, over the past few months.

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