France urges Yemen ceasefire

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France joined the United States in calling for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen on Friday while urging its citizens to leave the country.

Foreign affairs spokesman Bernard Valero said France was "extremely concerned about the escalation of violence in Sanaa and the rest of Yemen," calling for a ceasefire and a "swift, peaceful political transition."

President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded along with his premier and other officials when shells fired by dissident tribesmen smashed into a mosque inside the presidential palace compound.

"Given the deteriorating security situation in the country, which is witnessing increasingly violent confrontations, we are asking our compatriots to leave immediately," Valero said.

© 2011 AFP

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