Berlin shuts embassy in Yemen amid unrest

4th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Germany on Saturday ordered the closure of its embassy in Yemen and the rapid repatriation of its staff amid widespread unrest, the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Even if the fighting in the capital is not directed against foreigners, the dangerous nature of the situation has led the foreign ministry to take this decision," the statement said.

Staff at the embassy have been told to leave "as soon as possible," it added.

Berlin told citizens on February 28 to avoid travelling to Yemen, and on Friday the European Union said it planned to evacuate its citizens.

That decision came shortly after Yemen's embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded along with his premier and other officials when shells fired by dissident tribesmen smashed into the presidential palace on Friday.

Saleh, who has been in power in Sanaa since 1978, has faced nationwide protests against his rule for the past four months.

More than 200 demonstrators have been killed since the protests erupted, according to an AFP tally based on reports from medics.

© 2011 AFP

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