Turkey closes Yemen embassy after telling citizens to leave

Updated: 2015-02-16 17:03


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Turkey closes Yemen embassy after telling citizens to leave

Anti-Houthi protesters shout slogans during a demonstration against the Shi'ite Muslim militia group in the southwestern city of Taiz February 15, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

ANKARA - Turkey has closed its embassy in Yemen, the Foreign Ministry in Ankara said on Monday, the latest of a number of foreign powers to withdraw their diplomats as the country's civil conflict worsens.

The ambassador and other embassy staff had returned to Turkey, a Foreign Ministry official told Reuters.

Shi'ite Muslim Houthi militants seized the capital Sanaa in September and have since expanded across Yemen. The United Nations Security Council demanded on Sunday that the group withdraw from government, and threatened "further steps" if the violence does not stop.

Diplomatic representatives of the United States and several European governments, as well as Saudi Arabia, have already left Yemen.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said its embassy would resume activities when state authority had been reasserted, according to an e-mailed statement.

The ministry had at the weekend called on Turkish citizens to leave Yemen.