Saturday, September 3, 2011

State issues Yemen travel warning

Sept. 2, 2011

ASHINGTON, Sept. 2 (UPI) -- The U.S. State Department Friday issued a travel warning for Yemen, saying the threat of terrorist activities and civil unrest makes travel unsafe.

State urged U.S. citizens to leave Yemen while commercial transport still is available. The embassy is on restricted staffing, making it difficult to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency, State said, adding that the security situation is "fluid."

"The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high," State said in the warning. "There is ongoing civil unrest throughout the country and large-scale protests in major cities. Violent clashes are taking place in Sanaa, and may escalate without notice. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.

"U.S. citizens are urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of a demonstration. Terrorist organizations continue to be active in Yemen, including al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula. The U.S. government remains concerned about possible attacks against U.S. citizens, facilities, businesses, and perceived U.S. and Western interests."

The warning also mentioned piracy "in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean."

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