UN steps up security around its offices in Yemen

April 21st, 2008 - 11:09 am ICT by admin  

Sanaa, April 21 (DPA) The United Nations has stepped up security at its local headquarters in Sanaa following three attacks against US and Western targets in the city. Concrete blocks and sandbag walls were erected around the UN’s main offices in the Haddah neighbourhood of the Yemeni capital, and more security personnel were deployed outside the compound Sunday.

Yemeni employees said that some of the organization’s non-essential staffers were also given leaves.

“Those measures were taken as precautionary steps,” one local employee told DPA on condition of anonymity.

The extra protection follows two mortar attacks that targeted the US embassy March 18 in Sanaa and a residential compound housing US and Western citizens April 6. A bomb exploded April 9 outside the offices of a Canadian oil firm.

On April 8, the US embassy in Yemen asked non-essential staff and family members to leave Yemen. Two days later, Britain’s foreign office advised its subjects against non-essential travel to the Arab country, citing a “high threat from terrorism”.

A member of the Egyptian militant Jihad group believed to have connections to the three attacks was reportedly arrested last week in Sanaa.

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