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Russia to send 2 planes for evacuation of its nationals from Yemen

RIA Novosti

05:01 10/06/2011 MOSCOW, June 10 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations will send two planes on Friday to Yemen to evacuate Russian nationals willing to leave the country, which is teetering on the brink of a civil war.

"Upon the order from the government, two Emergency Situations Ministry planes will head for Yemen in late afternoon on Friday," a spokesman for the ministry said.

The ministry has dispatched an Il-76 and Il-62 aircraft for the evacuation. There are currently about 1,000 Russians in Yemen.

A pro-democracy uprising against the 33-year rule of President Ali Abdullah Saleh has developed into an armed conflict drawing in U.S. airstrikes. Washington says it is trying to prevent Islamist militants from taking control of the impoverished state, amid concerns that al Qaeda operatives might have mingled with the protesters.

Saleh was badly wounded in a bomb attack on his compound last Friday in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. The government said the 69-year-old leader would return to work within a week despite reports that burns cover 40 percent of his body.

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