Germany to shut Yemen embassy for two days over security concerns

BERLIN (AFP) - Germany will close its embassy in Yemen on Sunday and Monday for security reasons, a spokesman for the foreign ministry said on Saturday.

The move followed a similar one regarding Yemen announced by Britain as well as a US decision to temporarily close two dozen embassies in Arab and other countries over fears of an Al-Qaeda attack.

"The German embassy in Sanaa will remain closed on Sunday and after tomorrow for security reasons," the spokesman told AFP.

The weekend in Yemen is Friday and Saturday.

In London, the Foreign Office announced on Friday that the British embassy in Sanaa would be closed on Sunday and Monday and that a number of staff had been withdrawn from the Yemeni capital due to increased security concerns in the final days of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and the upcoming Eid holiday.

The German embassy website in Sanaa said it will "remain closed for visitors on August 4 and 5." The site also pointed to updated foreign ministry warnings to German travellers that "the situation in the entire country is uncertain in the future."

The ministry referred in particular to the risk of "terrorist attacks in certain isolated parts of the country but also in the capital Sanaa."

The United States issued a worldwide alert on Friday warning of plans by Al-Qaeda to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa in August.

The State Department issued the caution to US citizens a day after announcing that some two dozen embassies or consulates would be closed on Sunday as a precaution.

The missions cover virtually all of the Arab world and also include two embassies in predominantly Muslim non-Arab nations - Afghanistan and Bangladesh - as well as US-run facilities in Israel.

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