Anti-Houthi protesters shout slogans against the dissolution of Yemen's parliament and the takeover by the armed Shiite Muslim Houthi group, during a rally in the southwestern city of Taiz, February 10, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi
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The embassy had been operating with only a skeleton staff for some weeks amid deteriorating conditions.U.S. officials said the embassy's closure would not affect counterterrorism operations against Al-Qaeda's Yemen branch -- considered by Washington to be the world's most dangerous offshoot of the global terror group. Yemeni officials, however, say the move was likely to curtail U.S. military operations in the country.Yemeni officials said Wednesday that embassy staffers destroyed files and documents and disposed of firearms belonging to the embassy guards. The Houthis now control 10 out of 22 provinces in Yemen.The Houthis have also been fighting Yemen's Al-Qaeda branch and its loyalist Sunni tribes -- and alliance that is expected to continue to challenge the rebels. Thousands flocked to the streets in the southwestern city of Taiz -- Yemen's third largest and not under Houthi control -- to denounce the rebels.
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