Middle East

Yemen warning closes UN offices in Sanaa Thursday: UN source

SANAA: A warning of a possible attack in the part of Yemen's capital where UN offices are located has prompted an order for staff to stay home on Thursday, a UN source said.

"Staff of the UN mission and UN agencies have received instructions not to turn up for work on Thursday," the source said.

The source said it was a "precautionary measure following advice from Yemeni security authorities".

The guidance warned of the "risk of possible acts of terrorism in certain places, particular Hida," the south Sanaa neighbourhood where the UN offices are located, the source said.

A government spokesman told AFP that Western embassies were not affected by the alert.

"Additional security measures will be taken around certain key installations and foreign interests, including the offices of (French energy giant) Total," the spokesman said.

However, he added that the American School, in a northwestern suburb of Sanaa, will close on Thursday.

Security forces have been on high alert in the city since a brazen daylight attack on the defence ministry's sprawling headquarters on December 5 killed 56 people, among them expatriate medical staff.

Information gleaned during the investigation into that attack, which was claimed by Al-Qaeda, led to the discovery of two cars packed with explosives and a massive search for five more suspected to be still inside Sanaa.

In August, a security alert prompted an unprecedented closure of American embassies across and beyond the Middle East, which was mirrored by the British and French missions in Sanaa.

 

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