When a British diplomat had a scare in YemenMay 23rd, 2011 - 5:09 pm ICT by IANS
London, May 23 (IANS) A British diplomat had a few scary moments in Yemen when he found himself trapped in an embassy building which was besieged by armed protesters.
John Wilkes was one of several senior figures in the UAE embassy when it was stormed Sunday by Yemeni government loyalists carrying knives and swords, Daily Express reported.
Hundreds of Saleh loyalists blocked main roads, preventing the Gulf Cooperation Council’s secretary-general from attending the signing at the presidential palace in the capital, Sana’a.
The protesters were rallying against the signing of a political accord to unseat Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The protesters then blocked the entrances to the embassy, where US, European and Arab ambassadors had assembled ahead of the ceremony, and attacked a convoy carrying GCC Secretary-General Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani.
Witnesses said the protesters pounded on the car, tried to keep it out of the compound and shouted slogans against Gulf intervention in Yemeni affairs.
The ambassadors remained trapped inside the building for several hours before Yemeni military helicopters arrived to ferry several of them out.
The Foreign Office said Wilkes had chosen to stay inside the compound until it was safe to leave.
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- Qatar exits GCC-initiated Yemen solution - May 13, 2011
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- Yemeni President Saleh says he will 'soon' return to his country - Aug 17, 2011
- Yemeni vice president is acting president: Al Jazeera - Jun 05, 2011
- 175 Russians evacuated from Yemen - Jun 13, 2011
- Saleh says he is 'in good health' after mosque attack - Jun 04, 2011
- Yemeni government welcomes Riyadh's conciliation call - Apr 06, 2011
- Gulf Cooperation Council calls for power transfer in Yemen - Apr 11, 2011
- Yemen witnesses anti-Saleh protests, people seek his immediate departure - Apr 25, 2011
Tags: ali abdullah saleh, arab ambassadors, british diplomat, convoy, foreign office, gcc, gulf cooperation council, gulf intervention, john wilkes, loyalists, main roads, military helicopters, political accord, protesters, rashid, scary moments, secretary general, slogans, uae embassy, yemeni affairs