UK embassy to remain closed until Tuesday [Archives:2005/806/Front Page]

January 10 2005

The UK embassy in Sana'a is to remain closed due to security concerns probably until next Tuesday, a reliable source at the embassy told Yemen Times.

The embassy had suspended services last Wednesday following a warning of potential terrorist attacks against Western targets in the country.

“We remain closed probably until Tuesday. However, the suspension of the services might be prolonged,” the source said without giving any further information.

“There is a high threat from terrorism. As of January 6th, there is specific information that terrorists are in the final stages of planning attacks against British targets and other Western interests in Yemen,” said an updated advisory issued on January 7.

Britain has urged around 200 British nationals living in Yemen to be vigilant in places frequented by foreigners.

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The British embassy was attacked using a hand grenade in October 13, 2000, just one day after the attack on the USS Cole destroyer took place in Aden.

However, a Yemeni government official had played down the warning, saying that the Yemeni authorities had not been informed of any specific threats and that it was a “routine procedure” by some embassies in order to stay on alert for any possible threats.

The UK decision to close down its embassy in Yemen came some days after a similar warning was issued by the US embassy to its citizens to avoid traveling to Aden in fear of terrorist attacks on the eve of the Christmas against Aden Hotel. Aden Hotel decided to sue the embassy for the loss and damage the warning had caused to the hotel's image and tourism activity.