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Germany Shuts Down Embassy in Yemen After Clashes Intensify

Germany closed its embassy in Yemen after battles in the country’s capital Sana’a intensified.

“Due to the current development of the situation, the Foreign Ministry decided to close the embassy immediately,” the ministry said in an e-mailed statement from Berlin today. The staff will leave Yemen “as soon as it is safe and possible.”

Fighting in Sana’a between Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s security forces and supporters of Sadiq al-Ahmar, leader of the Hashid, Yemen’s most influential tribe, toughened yesterday after the breakdown of a truce mediated by tribal leaders. Government supporters attacked protesters in the southern city of Taiz and Saleh escaped serious injury in the shelling of his palace compound in Sana’a.

“I urgently request all fellow countrymen to immediately leave the country as long as it is safe and possible,” German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in Hanoi, according to the statement. Current human-rights violations are “not acceptable,” he said.

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