Suspected Al Qaeda attack kills four in Yemen
The attack comes as Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh refuses to step down early, and US, UK warn citizens to leave country.
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Four soldiers were killed in Yemen by gunmen suspected to be members of Al Qaeda, heightening tensions a day after President Ali Abdullah Saleh rejected an opposition plan to step down before the end of the year. The plan, submitted last week, was intended to placate protesters demanding a new government in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak's ouster in Egypt.
The Associated Press reports that, according to security officials, Al Qaeda gunmen ambushed members of the elite Republican Guard as the soldiers delivered food to military checkpoints near Marib, about 100 miles east of the capital of Sanaa. A security source said that attackers escaped after the attack. AP notes that Marib is an Al Qaeda stronghold where the government has little authority.
The attack comes as both the United States and Britain issued warnings to their citizens to avoid traveling to Yemen. BBC News writes that the US State department said that the risk to citizens in Yemen was "extremely high due to terrorist activities and civil unrest." The State department added that the US's ability to evacuate citizens would be "extremely limited" should a crisis occur in Yemen. The BBC adds that the US announcement follows a similar travel warning by the British government to its citizens.