Home Muslim World News Britain asks its citizens to leave Yemen

Britain asks its citizens to leave Yemen


London : The British government has asked its nationals to leave Yemen ahead of the mass protests planned for Friday, fearing the agitation might turn violent.

Friday’s pro-democracy demonstrations are the latest in a series demanding that Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh stands down. He has agreed to resign by January 2012, but the opposition and protesters want him to leave immediately.

“In light of the rapid deterioration in the security situation in Yemen and likely protests on April 1, which might result in violent clashes, we strongly urge all British nationals to leave the country now while commercial airlines are still flying,” the Daily Express quoted a spokesman in the Britain’s Forein Office as saying.

Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets in Yemeni cities Wednesday.

Over 50 protesters died in the capital Sana’a earlier this month as the government soldiers opened fire. Demonstrations have grown since the protests pushing for the president’s resignation first erupted in January, the Daily Express reported.

Britain’s Foreign Office Thursday also warned people not to travel to Yemen.

President Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, has been a key ally for Britain and the US in their anti-terror operations against Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), who are based in Yemen.