Britain to close Yemen embassy at weekend over security

Britain's embassy in the Yemeni capital Sanaa will be shut this weekend after the United States announced the temporary closure of two dozen embassies over fears of an Al-Qaeda attack, the Foreign Office said Friday.

"The embassy will be closed on the 4th and 5th of August," a ministry spokesman said. "We have withdrawn a number of staff from Sanaa, due to increased security concerns."

He added: "We are particularly concerned about the security situation in the final days of Ramadan and into Eid."

The United States had issued a worldwide alert on Friday warning of plans by Al-Qaeda to launch an attack in the Middle East or North Africa in August.

On Thursday, the US State Department had announced that at least 22 US embassies would close on Sunday as a precaution.

The State Department said attacks were possible "particularly in the Middle East and North Africa, and possibly occurring in or emanating from the Arabian Peninsula."

The Foreign Office advises British nationals against all travel to Yemen, and strongly advises any remaining Britons to leave the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country.

"Our travel advice advises particular vigilance during Ramadan, when tensions could be heightened," the ministry spokesman said.