‘ Leave Ye­men’

Aus­tralians warned

Townsville Bulletin - - National Snapshot -

THE Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment is urg­ing dozens of Aus­tralians in strife-torn Ye­men to get out while they can.

A top Ye­meni mil­i­tary com­man­der and at least 18 other se­nior of­fi­cers this week de­fected to the op­po­si­tion move­ment de­mand­ing an end to the 32-year rule of Pres­i­dent Ali Ab­dul­lah Saleh.

The de­fec­tions fol­low a ma­jor es­ca­la­tion in the regime’s crack­down on pro­test­ers. Saleh loyalist skilled 52 demon­stra­tors last week.

In its lat­est travel ad­vice, the Depart­ment of For­eign Af­fairs and Trade urges Aus­tralians to leave the coun­try.

‘‘ The se­cu­rity en­vi­ron­ment in Ye­men is likely to con­tinue to de­te­ri­o­rate, po­ten­tially caus­ing the air­ports at Sanaa and Aden to close at any time,’’ DFAT says.

‘ ‘ Aus­tralians should de­part Ye­men while com­mer­cial op­tions are avail­able.’’

DFAT says there are cur­rently 50 Aus­tralians reg­is­tered as be­ing in the Mid­dle East­ern coun­try.

‘‘ We have con­tacted all reg­is­tered Aus­tralians in the last few days and some have al­ready left the coun­try,’’ a DFAT spokes­woman said.

DFAT has warned it does not have an em­bassy or con­sulate in Ye­men.

The gov­ern­ment has also warned of the high risk of kid­nap­ping and ter­ror­ist at­tacks in the coun­try.

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