Russia evacuates over 170 citizens from Yemen

Two planes dispatched by Russia’s Emergencies Ministry have evacuated a total of 175 Russian citizens from Yemen due to escalating violence in the country, the ministry said.

The first plane, an Il-76 carrying 66 people, left Yemeni capital, Sanaa, at 09.25 p.m. Moscow time [17:25 GMT] on Sunday.

“The second plane, an Il-62, took off from Sanaa at 11.40 p.m. Moscow time [19:40 GMT],” a ministry’s spokesman told RIA Novosti.” The plane is carrying 109 people, including 59 children.”

Russia has already recalled 14 diplomats and their families from its embassy in Sanaa and general consulate in Aden.

There are about 825 Russians remaining in Yemen.

Anti-government protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who has been in power for 33 years, have been taking place for nearly five months. The protests have recently escalated to frequent gun battles between Saleh loyalists and hundreds of members of Yemeni opposition tribal groups.

Several hundred people have reportedly been killed in Yemen since February, pushing the country to the brink of a civil war.

MOSCOW, June 13 (RIA Novosti) 

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