Germany withdraws Yemen embassy staff
Germany said Thursday it had pulled out all but a "core team" from its embassy in Sanaa due to mounting unrest in the strife-corn country, following a similar decision by Britain.
The foreign ministry said in a statement that most of its embassy personnel and their families had already returned home to Germany, after a travel warning for Yemen issued February 28 due to deteriorating security.
Only 36 of the 250 registered Germans in Yemen are still in the country, the ministry said.
"Germans in Yemen are strongly urged to leave the country due to the difficult security situation," it said, noting that German aid groups had temporarily evacuated all their employees and their families.
Britain said Wednesday it was withdrawing all but a "small core" of staff from its embassy in Sanaa.
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has ruled for more than three decades but now faces an escalating campaign for his removal.
The parliament on Wednesday approved a state of emergency declared by the president last week, hours after regime loyalists gunned down 52 protesters near the university.
The opposition swiftly rejected the vote as "illegal" and based on fraud and has called for fresh demonstrations after Muslim weekly prayers on Friday.
© 2011 AFP