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

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.