US military evacuates embassy personnel from Yemen

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WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. military has evacuated non-essential U.S. government personnel from Yemen.

The move was made because of what's seen as a high risk of attack by al-Qaida. The threat has triggered temporary shutdowns of 19 American diplomatic posts across the Middle East and Africa.

The State Department said in a travel warning that it ordered the evacuation in Yemen "due to the continued potential for terrorist attacks." It said U.S. citizens in Yemen should leave immediately because of an "extremely high" security threat level.

A Pentagon spokesman says the U.S. Air Force transported State Department personnel out of Yemen's capital early today. The spokesman says the military still has personnel in Yemen "to support the U.S. State Department and monitor the security situation." According to a senior defense official, between 50 and 100 diplomatic personnel were flown out in a C-17 military transport at dawn, and were taken to Germany.

Britain's Foreign Office says it has evacuated all of its staff from the British Embassy in Yemen because of security concerns.

Meanwhile, Yemeni security officials say a suspected U.S. drone strike overnight killed four alleged al-Qaida members in a volatile eastern province of the country.

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