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Russia issues travel warning for Yemen

RIA Novosti

05:16 25/05/2011 MOSCOW, May 25 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged Russian citizens to avoid visits to Yemen due to escalating political crisis in the Arab country.

Fighting between government troops and armed supporters of the opposition, including tribesmen, intensified on Tuesday after a brief lull in a nation-wide uprising against President Ali Abdullah Saleh that has been raging for over three months.

"We continue to monitor the situation in Yemen and once again insistently recommend Russian citizens to abstain from unnecessary visits to Yemen, while urging those already staying in that country to leave it," the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to Yemeni officials, at least 24 tribesmen and 14 government soldiers were killed on Tuesday in fierce street battles in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

The clashes followed the collapse on Sunday of a transition deal mediated by Gulf Arab neighbors that Saleh refused to sign. The deal would have given him immunity from prosecution after a voluntary resignation within 30 days.

"We urge the [Yemeni] authorities and all opposition factions to stop using force in the achievement of political goals. Only a peace dialog with due account of the interests of all parties to the conflict can normalize the situation and help resolve the crisis," the Russian ministry said.

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