US embassy shuts down consular services in Yemen

The US embassy in Yemen has suspended all consular services for two weeks, the mission said in a statement on its website, after four people were killed in violent anti-American protests in Sanaa.

The statement, published Saturday, said the embassy will be "closed for all consular services through September 29," warning citizens of the "potential" for protests near the mission.

An angry mob of protesters tried to storm the embassy grounds and clashed with security forces on Thursday, leaving four dead.

In response, the US ordered the deployment of a Marines anti-terrorism unit to Yemen to help protect the American embassy, a move that was condemned by the Yemeni parliament.

The embassy also renewed an existing travel warning to Yemen and called on Americans in the country to leave. "The security threat to all US citizens in Yemen remains critical," it said.

Protests over a trailer for an anti-Islam film on YouTube first broke out last Tuesday in Egypt and Libya, where the US consulate in Benghazi came under attack by an armed mob killing the US ambassador and three other Americans.

The protests have since spread across other Arab and Muslim countries.

The low-budget movie "Innocence of Muslims," in which actors have strong American accents, portrays Muslims as immoral and gratuitously violent.

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