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EU countries close embassies in Yemen over security concerns

Updated: 2013-08-04 14:19
( Xinhua)

PARIS -- Following similar moves of Britain and Germany, France will close its embassy in Yemen for several days amid increasing security concerns over imminent terror attacks, President Francois Hollande said Saturday.

During a trip to southern France, he said the embassy in Yemen will be closed for several days, adding that "we have elements that lead us to believe that the threat is very serious and other countries have also taken similar steps."

The president also urged French nationals travelling in that region to take precautions.

"We are also conscious that we will have to keep up extreme vigilance in the coming weeks, especially for people travelling in that area," he said.

The three European countries decided to temporarily close their embassies in Yemen after the US government announced Friday the closure of 21 diplomatic missions starting Sunday.

CNN reported that that the US alert was tied to "chatter" among al Qaida operatives in Yemen planning an attack against US and Western targets.

The British Foreign Office asked Britons in Yemen to get out of the area immediately.

"If your don't leave the country now while commercial carriers are still flying it its extremely unlikely that the British government will be able to evacuate you or provide consular assistance," it said.

Germany missions in Yemen would remain closed on Sunday and Monday out of security fears, the Germany Foreign Ministry said.

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