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U.S. warns of Yemen terror threat

The warnings follow Thursday's attacks in Kenya that left 16 dead
The warnings follow Thursday's attacks in Kenya that left 16 dead

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SPECIAL REPORT

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. State Department has warned Americans against traveling to Yemen because of terror threats following a suicide bombing at a resort in Kenya.

"The department has received credible reports that terrorists associated with al Qaeda have planned attacks against U.S. interests in Yemen, and the department anticipates that threats against American citizens in Yemen will continue," the State Department advised travelers.

The department also advised travelers of an increased risk of terrorist attacks in east Africa, particularly Djibouti, where U.S. forces are training for antiterrorist operations.

The notices follow Thursday's suicide bombing at a resort hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, which left 16 people dead, including three bombers. The same day, attackers armed with shoulder-fired missiles attempted to shoot down an Israeli charter plane as it look off from Mombasa.

"The U.S. government has received information, the credibility of which has not yet been confirmed, that similar attacks may also occur in Yemen," the State Department said.

Yemen has been the subject of a string of U.S. advisories and warnings since the October 2000 bombing of the destroyer USS Cole, which killed 17 sailors. The department says the possibility of attacks on Americans remains high.

The statement goes on to say that Americans in Yemen should be especially careful at "locations associated with foreigners," such as the trade center in Yemen's capital Sanaa; American-affiliated franchises, restaurants and shops in the Haddah area of Sanaa; and at restaurants and hotels frequented by expatriates.

In March, the State Department ended voluntary departure for non-emergency personnel of the U.S. Embassy in Yemen and their family members, due to beefed-up security measures and evidence of co-operation from the Yemeni government in fighting terrorism.

The State Department advises that the embassy may close or suspend services from time to time to assess the security situation in Yemen.

The country is the ancestral home of al Qaeda leder Osama bin Laden, where U.S. officials say some al Qaeda leaders may have fled after being pushed out of Afghanistan last year.

Across the southern tip of the Red Sea from Yemen, increasing numbers of U.S. troops have been stationed in Djibouti in recent months as part of of antiterrorist efforts. It was singled out in a State Department public announcement about travel in east Africa, also issued on Saturday.

"Djibouti is one of a number of countries in east Africa where there may be an increased terrorist threat," the State Department statement warned.

"Due to the preponderance of threat information, the department believes it prudent to share this information with American citizens so they can make an informed decision in deciding whether to travel to or remain in east Africa."

The statement advises Americans overseas to be cautious.

"U.S. citizens and interests abroad remain at risk of terrorist attacks by groups including, but not limited to, those with links to al Qaeda organizations," it says.



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