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British Embassy in Yemen's capital closes, evacuates staff after Shiite rebels seize power

  • Houthi Shiite Yemenis stand guard at the parliament during a meeting in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Yemens Shiite rebels are meeting with political rivals for the first time since cementing their power grab last week by dissolving parliament and making their top security body the de facto government. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Houthi Shiite Yemenis stand guard at the parliament during a meeting in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Yemens Shiite rebels are meeting with political rivals for the first time since cementing their power grab last week by dissolving parliament and making their top security body the de facto government. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Houthi Shiite Yemenis wearing army uniforms, stand guard outside parliament, during a meeting in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Yemen's Shiite rebels are meeting with political rivals for the first time since cementing their power grab last week by dissolving parliament and making their top security body the de facto government. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    Houthi Shiite Yemenis wearing army uniforms, stand guard outside parliament, during a meeting in Sanaa, Yemen, Monday, Feb. 9, 2015. Yemen's Shiite rebels are meeting with political rivals for the first time since cementing their power grab last week by dissolving parliament and making their top security body the de facto government. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • A policeman, left, mans a machine gun atop a military vehicle as he guards the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The State Department has closed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff because of the political crisis and security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)

    A policeman, left, mans a machine gun atop a military vehicle as he guards the entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015. The State Department has closed the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and evacuated its staff because of the political crisis and security concerns following the takeover of much of the country by Shiite rebels. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

The British government says it has closed its embassy in Yemen and evacuated all its diplomatic staff amid turmoil there following Shiite rebels seizing power in the Arab world's poorest country.

In a statement Wednesday, U.K. Minister for the Middle East Tobias Ellwood said all embassy staff in Yemen's capital, Sanaa, left early Wednesday morning. The statement also calls for all British nationals to "leave immediately."

The U.K. decision comes after the U.S. Embassy there closed and America evacuated its staff.

Yemen has been in crisis for months, with Shiite Houthi rebels besieging the capital and then taking control. Earlier Tuesday, U.S. officials said the embassy closure would not affect counterterrorism operations against al-Qaida's Yemen branch, which America views as the world's most dangerous branch of the terror group.