UK, US, France close embassies in Yemen

The three countries were forced to shut their doors amid looming security chaos.

FILE: Members of Shi'ite Huthi movement check people as they arrive for a gathering in a northern Sanaa stadium on 7 February, 2015.

SANAA - Security fears in Yemen forced the United States (US), Britain and France to close their embassies on Wednesday, as a Shi'ite Muslim militia group's takeover of the country threatened all-out civil war.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Taiz and hundreds more in Sanaa in the largest protests yet against the Houthi movement, which overran Sanaa in September and formally took power last week.

The Houthis are stridently anti-American, and chant "death to America" at rallies. Their leader Abdel Malik al-Houthi has also blasted what he calls Western meddling in Yemen.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "Recent unilateral actions disrupted the political transition process in Yemen, creating the risk that renewed violence would threaten Yemenis and the diplomatic community in Sanaa."

German embassy employees have since said that their mission was also getting rid of sensitive documents and would soon close.