175 Russians evacuated from Yemen

June 13th, 2011 - 2:20 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 13 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Two planes sent by Russia have evacuated 175 of its nationals from Yemen in the wake of escalating violence in the country, the government said.

The planes were dispatched by the emergencies ministry.

The first plane - an Il-76 carrying 66 people - left Yemeni capital Sana’a at 1725 GMT Sunday, while the second plane - an Il-62 carrying 109 people, including 59 children - took off from Sana’a at 1940 GMT, a ministry’s spokesman said.

Russia has already recalled 14 diplomats and their families from its embassy in Sana’a and the consulate in Aden.

There are still about 825 Russians in Yemen.

Anti-government protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, have been taking place for nearly five months. The protests recently escalated to frequent gun battles between Saleh loyalists and opposition tribal groups.

Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed since February, pushing the country to the brink of a civil war.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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