US, Britain close embassies in Yemen for security reasons, cite attempted plane bombing

By Lee Keath, AP
Sunday, January 3, 2010

US and Britain close their embassies in Yemen

SAN’A, Yemen — Both the U.S. and Britain have closed their embassies in Yemen, with American officials citing threats by the al-Qaida group linked to the failed bombing of a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day.

In London, Britain’s Foreign Office says the embassy in Yemen was closed Sunday for security reasons. She said officials would decide later whether to reopen it on Monday. The spokeswoman spoke anonymously in line with U.K. government policy.

The confrontation with al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has gained new urgency since the 23-year-old Nigerian accused in the attack, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, told American investigators he received training and instructions from the group’s operatives in Yemen.

President Barack Obama says the al-Qaida offshoot was behind the attempted bombing.

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