U.S. Embassy Reopens in Yemen
Jul. 08, 2001
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SAN`A, Yemen (AP) _ The U.S. Embassy in Yemen has resumed consular services after freezing them for nearly a month, but it has limited the number of applicants it receives as a security precaution, an embassy spokesman said Sunday.
The embassy reopened to the public Saturday, according to spokesman Chris Eccel.
``The embassy is offering the full range of consular services, but in reduced numbers within our legitimate security needs,'' he said.
He said there were some Yemenis with pressing visa needs that could not be further delayed but added that continuing security concerns necessitated limiting the number served daily at the embassy.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abu Bakr al-Kerbi was quoted in an interview published Sunday in the government-run Al-Thawra daily as saying that reducing the number of people served would reduce the crowd that used to gather each day at the embassy gates.
Security around the embassy remained tight, with two adjacent roads blocked to cars with large concrete barricades. Yemeni troops continued to patrol the road in front of the embassy.
The State Department issued a travel warning June 9 citing ``an increased terrorist threat to U.S. citizens and interests in Yemen.'' It forced the closing of the embassy to the public and authorized nonemergency personnel to leave along with family members of embassy workers.
Last month, eight people were arrested in connection with a plot to attack the U.S. Embassy. Yemeni security officials said the suspects had conducted reconnaissance on the embassy and its staff.
A week after the embassy closure, the FBI withdrew its personnel investigating the attack on a U.S. destroyer, concerned that violence might be directed at them.
The USS Cole was refueling in the Yemeni port of Aden last October when a small harbor skiff pulled alongside it and detonated explosives, killing 17 sailors, injuring 39 others and nearly sinking the ship. Eight people have been arrested for their role in the bombing.