Security forces killed two suspected al-Qaida militants in clashes outside the Yemeni capital on Monday, officials said, as the U.S. and British embassies extended their closure for a second day because of threats of attack by the terror group’s offshoot here.
The clashes took place in a region northeast of the capital where last month the government carried out intensified raids against an al-Qaida cell it said was plotting attacks against foreign interests, possibly including embassies. In that December 17 raid, officials said four would-be suicide bombers were killed.
The U.S. and British embassies closed on Sunday after what US officials said were signs of al-Qaida was planning an attack in San’a, possibly against the diplomatic missions.
An officer on duty at the US Embassy in San’a said on Monday that the closure remained in force. A State Department spokesman, Fred Lash, said reopening would be assessed day to day, based on the perceived threat to US personnel. The Foreign Office in London said the British were also reviewing the situation.
In today’s clashes, security forces attacked a group of al-Qaida militants including Nazeeh al-Hanaq, a senior figure on Yemen’s most wanted list, as they moved through the mountainous area of Arhab on Monday, security officials said.