U.S. orders some diplomats, family to leave Yemen

Reuters News
Posted: May 25, 2011 9:54 PM
U.S. orders some diplomats, family to leave Yemen

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has ordered all non-essential diplomats and embassy family members to leave Yemen amid mounting violence between loyalists and opponents of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the State Department said Wednesday.

"The security threat level in Yemen is extremely high due to terrorist activities and civil unrest. There is ongoing civil unrest throughout the country and large-scale protests in major cities," the State Department said.

Clashes between Yemeni loyalist forces and protesters demanding an end to Saleh's 33-year rule flared after the collapse Sunday of a transition deal.

The deal mediated by Gulf neighbors would have given Saleh immunity from prosecution but he refused to sign it.

The United States in March told its citizens to avoid traveling to Yemen and said those already there should consider leaving due to deteriorating security.

(Reporting by JoAnne Allen; editing by Bill Trott)