France tells nationals to evacuate families from Yemen

13th October 2010, Comments 0 comments

France on Wednesday advised the partners and children of its nationals in Yemen to leave the country because of the deteriorating security there.

"This is a temporary precautionary measure taken in coordination with the main French companies present," foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said.

The warning came a day after Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh met French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris to discuss security matters.

Around 840 French nationals live in Yemen, the Arabian peninsula's poorest and most chaotic nation, where last week a Frenchman working for an Austrian oil firm was shot dead.

Yemen, the ancestral homeland of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, faces a growing threat from the local branch of his global jihadist network.

It must also contend with a sporadic rebellion by Zaidi Shiites in the north and a southern separatist movement.

A French contractor working for Austrian energy group OMV was shot at the company's compound in the Yemeni capital on Wednesday last week, the same day a British embassy car was targeted by a rocket attack that wounded one person.

© 2010 AFP

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