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US orders Americans to leave Yemen immediately
The U.S. State Department has ordered the evacuation of all non-emergency personnel in Yemen and has urged Americans in the country to "leave immediately" due to the "continued potential for terrorist attacks."
An emergency message to U.S. citizens posted on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen's website Tuesday described the terror threat as "extremely high."
"U.S. citizens currently in Yemen should depart," the message reads. "As staff levels at the Embassy are restricted, our ability to assist U.S. citizens in an emergency and provide routine consular services remains limited and may be further constrained by the fluid security situation."
Last week, the State Department issued a worldwide travel alert that shut down nearly two dozen U.S. embassies and consulates in the Middle East and Africa after conversations were intercepted between two al Qaeda leaders suggesting an impending terror attack.
The State Department had initially said the closures were "out of an abundance of caution" but the travel alert expires at the end of August and advised that al Qaeda continues to plan "terrorist attacks both in the region and beyond."
"The U.S. government remains highly concerned about possible attacks on U.S. citizens (whether visiting or residing in Yemen), and U.S. facilities, businesses and perceived U.S. and Western interests," read the alert.
The BBC reports Tuesday that security is "unprecedented" in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, with "hundreds of armored military vehicles" deployed around key infrastructure buildings and Western embassies.
At this time, the U.S. Embassy in Sana'a is scheduled to remain closed until Saturday.